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Food/Arts/Entertainment/Shopping/Property @BathLifeMag


ISSUE 332 / 3 – 17 FEBRUARY 2017 / £3














Walcot wonders


Walcot Street’s indie traders share the secrets of the artisan quarter

As you may already be able to tell from our cover, one of this issue’s main focuses is the quirky, eclectic artisan quarter of Walcot Street. But we’re sad to report that the day after our photographer spent the afternoon snapping the wonderful, vibrant sights there, some of the vibrancy was unfortunately removed. The ‘Welcome to Walcot’ mural – which was organised by the street’s traders, and was painted free of charge by renowned artists Inkie and Cheba to coincide with last year’s first ever Walcot Winterfest festival – was glossed over with white paint. It was concealed because it was painted on a listed building without planning consent, but, as you’ll see on page 76, the street’s abundance of independent traders are working together with the local community to come up with new plans and designs to re-inject Walcot with, properly planned, colour. Speaking of independent businesses, as February is known as the month of love (although our columnist Flats begs to disagree on page 23), we visited some of the city’s best couple-owned restaurants to discover what it’s really like to work together, what they’ll be dishing up on 14 February, and what romantic moments they’ve witnessed at their eateries over the years (page 30). Elsewhere, we’ve got a guide to some of the best schools in Bath (page 84); an awkwardly amusing interview with comedian Seann Walsh who will be at Komedia later this month (page 46); and a his‘n’hers Valentine’s Day shopping list for those last-minuters among you (page 70). Until next time… Lisa Evans, Editor Follow us on Twitter: @BathLifeMag Follow us on Instagram:@bathlifemag

FEATURES / ISSUE 332 / 3 – 17 FEBRUARY 2017



Love your partner? Love your food? We talk to the restaurant couples who’ve made that their business


One to one Things get funny with stand-up comic Seann Walsh ahead of his Bath appearance

REGULARS / ISSUE 332 / 3 – 17 FEBRUARY 2017


THE ARTS 39 Arts intro The Bruegel artistic dynasty has set up home in The Holburne

40 What’s on Arts, gigs, shows and events – time to update the events diary

51 Bookshelf Nic Bottomley of Mr B’s Emporium Of Reading Delights and his novel choices

53 Film

M E ET T H E T EAM Editor Lisa Evans Managing editor Deri Robins Assistant editor Sarah Moolla Senior art editor Andrew Richmond Graphic design Megan Allison Cover design Trevor Gilham Contributors: David Flatman, Nic Bottomley and Jennifer Jennings Group advertising manager Pat White Deputy advertising manager Justine Walker Sales executive Sophie Speakman Production and distribution manager Sarah Kingston Deputy production manager Christina West Production designer Charlie Pinder

Jennifer Jennings Wright selects her cinematic highlights

FOOD 58 Restaurant

Chief executive Jane Ingham Chief executive Greg Ingham Commercial director Steve Hawkins

Frome’s Sam’s Kitchen proves every bit as worthy as its Bath counterpart

65 Food & drink news Things get mezze at Comptoir Libanais, and puddings go vegan at Demuth’s

Bath Life, MediaClash, Circus Mews House, Circus Mews, Bath BA1 2PW 01225 475800 @The MediaClash © All rights reserved. May not be reproduced without written permission of MediaClash.

SHOPPING 69 Shopping intro The Rossiters of Bath frames that have stolen our hearts

70 Editor’s choice This Valentine’s Day, say it with treasures, trinkets and gifts



72 Special shop

84 School report

102 Property showcase

11 of the best schools in the region discuss how best to equip students for life

Grand Grade-II living is on offer at the stunning Freshford Hall

We interview the indie powerhouse that is The Foodie Bugle’s Silvana de Soissons

BUSINESS 95 Business insider News, views and interviews from the region’s professionals

About MediaClash We’re a Bath-based publisher, creative agency and event organiser Magazines Our portfolio of regional magazines celebrates the best of local living: Bath, Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter and Salisbury. We also publish foodie mag Crumbs. (, @CrumbsMag) and wedding title Vow (@VowMag). Agency From the design and build of websites to digital marketing and creating company magazines, we can help. Events We create, market, promote and operate a wide variety of events both for MediaClash and our clients Contact:


Spotlight Society A man’s world

On the cover The Great Wall of Walcot photographed by Chris Daw. Turn to page 76 to find out more about this wonderful indie enclave

BATH: ITS LIFE AND TIMES Michael Eavis with youth theatre leader Ali Warren and director Tracy Sullivan


GOODWILL FUNDING Michael Eavis, the legendary Glastonbury farmer and festival organiser, recently hosted a presentation night at the Ustinov theatre, Bath, which saw the Theatre Royal share out more than £34,000 worth of grants across a number of local projects. The cash, which was from the Theatre Royal Bath’s Creative Fund, went to nine organisations including the Theatre Bath Bus, Changing Tunes – a charity which uses music to help rehabilitate offenders – and Bath Abbey to help create a huge outdoor gallery of local schoolchildren’s work. The Creative Fund, which received more than 80 applications for funding, was established in 2015 through the activities of Theatre Royal Bath Productions with the aim of culturally enriching the local community. Theatre Royal Bath director, Danny Moar, says, “We are thrilled that we have been able to support arts development in Bath and the surrounding area for a second year.” For more:

Getting to the point with Elbow


INTO THE WOODS Elbow is the latest band to announce dates as part of Forest Live, and they join a summer line-up at Westonbirt Arboretum that includes UK garage king Craig David, 80s pop legend Rick Astley and former X-Factor contestant Olly Murs. Considered one of the most important bands in contemporary British music, Elbow, who play the Gloucestershire woodland on 15 June, are renowned for

the intimacy of their live shows and stand-out gigs which include several appearances at Glastonbury Festival and the closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games. Over Forest Live’s 16-year history, money raised from the concerts has contributed to a wide range of projects including wildlife conservation. For more:

SPOTLIGHT Claire’s energy for life after surviving teenage cancer is a true inspiration


WE’RE MOVING ON UP NOW! The Bath Life Awards is set to be the biggest and best yet, with records tumbling in advance of the big night. For the first time ever, all categories are sponsored, mostly on three-year deals. And there are more feature sponsorships than before. Additionally, the vital barometer of nominations has once more been reset, with a shade under 300 nominations received. Tickets sales have also been in the Ball Room and didn’t even get as far as going on open sale, such was the support from sponsors. And the significantly-increased finalists’ allocation sold out within two hours of the finalists being revealed last month. There were just a handful of tickets left in the Tea Room, with priority given to finalists, and already over 70 people on the waiting list. “The support this year from Bath businesses and organisations has been little short of overwhelming,” comments Steph Dodd, the event manager for MediaClash, Bath Life’s publisher. “If we could get more than 500 in the Assembly Rooms then we definitely would – because we would love more people to

Nothing, but nothing, beats being there…

experience the awards. We’re doing what we can to juggle all the requirements for tickets but just can’t physically fit everyone in. “We’d like to send a massive, massive thanks to all who have contributed so far – to our sponsors, associates, partners and nominating companies. And, prospectively, to our judges, who have a particularly tough job this year with so many brilliant Bath businesses entering the awards. Roll on 23 February – it’s going to be immense!” The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa is the Headline Sponsor of the Awards with its brand partner Taittinger. Bristol Airport is sponsor of the Platinum Award – the Winner of Winners on the night. Sponsors include: Apex Hotels, Kersfield, Bath Rugby, First Bus, Hawker Joinery, the University of Bath, Fidelius, Stone King, Bath Audi, Novia, Savills, Tile & Flooring, Bath Volkswagen, Bluefin, Bryers, Circo, Clifton Marquee Company, Enlightened Lighting, SearchStar, Vistage and Minuteman Press. Silver-level Associate Sponsors include: Kaleidoscope (Abbey Hotel, No. 15), Bath Holiday Rentals, Epoch, Mogers Drewett, Royal Bank of Scotland, Thrings, Woodhouse & Law, Kambiz Shayegan’s restaurant group, Victoria Pub, Cumberwell Golf and Bath Hospitality. The Bath Life Awards 2017 are held at the Assembly Rooms on 23 February. For more:, @BathLifeAwards


A LESSON TO US ALL It’s an impressive feat to run a half marathon, and even more so when it’s to raise money for a charity that gave you hope in an uncertain future. Claire Woolger is running the 2017 Vitality Bath Half Marathon on 12 March to raise money for Teenage Cancer Trust. Claire was diagnosed at 14 with a rare and very aggressive cancer, which spread to her right lung and reached Stage 4 in her neck, meaning she required very intensive chemotherapy and radiotherapy. “I would have never imagined, going through treatment, that I could run a marathon, or any race for that matter, 11 years down the line. The support I received from the Teenage Cancer Trust was tremendous.” Now clear of cancer, Claire teaches English and languages at Bath’s Hayesfield Girls’ School. “I never underestimate the role a school can have in giving students, going through all kinds of problems, an escape and a haven of normality.” For more:

Adventures in party-going

John Gray


Collette Duffy, Ryan Pearce and Martin Duffy

HELLO PETAL! Ella Sparks has been working from her garden studio since 2013 but recently celebrated the opening of the new premises for Flowers of Bath on Belvedere, Lansdown, with 75 selected guests, friends and fellow traders. Champagne was served along with cupcakes from the Bath Cake Company. Photos by Tim Woolf

A happy bunch of friends Xxxxx

Christine Graham and Amanda McGonigle

Douglas Yates, Alex Kerslake and Carla Kerslake


Jeremy Sparks, Ella Sparks, Heather Sparks and Gaye Sparks

Matthew Blower, Alishia Garzia and Johnathon Fogwill



Sarah Simcox, Noel Broomfield and Rosemary Simcox

Clients, colleagues and local charities came together recently for the annual Bath Building Society drinks event at the Bath Function Rooms in Green Park Station. A cheque was presented to the Bath Samaritans by CEO Dick Jenkins, which was from monies raised by the Rotary’s Fireworks Display on The Rec, an event the building society have sponsored for 41 years. Pictures by Tim Woolf Cecil Weir and Kevin Gray

Chris Davies and John Vickery

Tonia Lovell and Mike Ventham

Tiffany Hardie-Albutt and Les Redwood

Ben Hutchings and Geoffrey Potter

Emma Seymour and Neil Vinnicombe 16 I BATH LIFE I

Keith Woodley


IN FINE FORM Amelia Rolfe and Anna Barton were the happy hosts of a recent party at Hunter & Sons in Milsom Place, which marked the increasing growth and continued success of Moovit, which specialises in ladiesonly fitness and nutrition. Bubbles, cake, gin and canapĂŠs were served to invited guests, which included many of their loyal clients.

Nina Spurr and Liz Spurr

Christie Waterfall, Kate Ford, Jo Ford and Grazziella Pinto

Pictures by Tim Woolf

Lynne Heywood and Minette Heywood

Amelia Rolfe

Anna Barton

Alice Greenman and Elle Smith

Jing Ma and Mandy Leonard


Marcus and Laura Wiltshire


WAYS OF SEEING The award-winning architecture practice, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, chose the beautiful venue of The Holburne Museum on Great Pulteney Street for the recent launch of the book Made You Look. Made You Stare. Written by one of their partners, Clare Hughes, it explores, road trip-style, some of the world’s most inspiring museums.

Assembled guests

Ashley Clayton and Nick Brindley

Pictures by Tim Woolf

Ken Grix and Andy Jarvis

Fliss Childs and Stephanie Sandall


Gordon O’Neil Roe and Steve Russell

Gordon Bloor, Trudy Davies and Morgyn Davies

A civic reception to mark the 90th anniversary of the Bath branch of the Historical Association took place in the Guildhall recently. It was followed by a buffet in the Brunswick Room and a reception in the Mayor’s Parlour, hosted by the Mayor of Bath. Photos by Philip Shone photography

Jackie Thompson, Ann Simnett and Meg Short

Mike Short and Rosemary Taylor 20 I BATH LIFE I




Romantic or a load of rubbish? Flats ponders the true meaning of Valentine’s Day…


ove is in the air everywhere I look around. Well, in truth, what’s actually in the air as I type this is that seemingly omnipresent suspended fug that hangs in the air on the London Underground. We have a man’s meatball sandwich adding to our immediate atmosphere, we have the over-applied citrus perfume of the pretty lady who just sat next to me, and we have, evidently, one or two among us for whom a morning shower proved unachievable. In all, then, writing about the romance of Valentine’s Day will be a very real test of my powers of disassociation this morning, made exponentially tougher by way of my natural inclination to label it all a load of rubbish. I’m not certain there’s a sane human alive that regards this occasion as anything but a commercial, plastic invention, yet on we trudge through the standard order of things, with fear a bigger motivator than outright romance by about a hundred miles. As superficial as Valentine’s Day might be, none of us wants to be the one to let the other down. Or, equally worthy of avoidance in my case, is being the one whose reputation is dragged through the marital mud at the next dinner party with friends where, inevitably, the debate ‘Whose husband is the least romantic’ resumes. To date, I have managed to survive these dissections, often by the skin of my teeth. I will order some lovely flowers to be delivered, of course, and this is one of the nicer customs. Mrs F, you see, loves flowers and, though I never even notice her latest bouquets or mantelpiece displays, it does give me pleasure to see her so in love with something so simple. This, then, is a mutually beneficial aspect of February 14th. The dinner I book at a local restaurant, though, won’t be so fruitful in its returns.

I’ll tell you how that’ll go. I’ll book it for 8pm in order that the kids can be put to bed at 7pm and Mrs F can have 45 minutes to doll herself up while I watch telly. This won’t work, as Mrs F’s hair drying will begin mid-kids’ bath time and they will begin to read the signs. “Are you going out tonight, Mummy?” will quickly turn into: “Yes! We’ve got a babysitter. Let’s stay up till she gets here!” This, in turn, roughly quadruples domestic anxiety, and that relaxed 7.50pm departure for said eatery is more akin to a troop of Royal Marines piling off a hovering chopper into the jungle while already under fire from enemy forces. I’ll wheel spin off the driveway with potential (but ultimately unimportant) tardiness my concern, and Mrs F will be in a huff at my aggressive scheduling. We will have a fun meal, leaving stresses behind, but that will change around dessert time. As I decide that dessert and coffee is how I’d like my evening to meander its way to a close, Mrs F’s eyes will begin to droop with fatigue, and her speed of conversational response will drop. She knows our kids will wake her up (they don’t bother with me) at five the next morning – like they do every day – and we’ll can pudding and ask for the bill. Home, pay the babysitter, asleep seven minutes later, teeth hurriedly brushed and clothes dumped. Weeks later, probably at dinner with friends, we’ll look back and laugh at what a shambles it was and is. And we’ll commit to doing it all again next year. Those laughs, those imperfect memories and their reality, they’re the real romance.


David Flatman is an ex-Bath and England rugby star turned TV pundit and rento-mic. Follow him on Twitter @davidflatman

FREE NEW YORK BREAK With every kitchen instruction placed before 28 February 2017* *T&Cs Apply

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THE FOOD OF LOVE Meet six couples who own restaurants in Bath, and discover their secrets to success in business together, the most romantic moments they’ve witnessed at their eateries, and what to expect from their Valentine’s Day offerings By L I SA E VA NS



Left: Garry and Lisa Rosser of The Scallop Shell, Bath; opposite page: Garry’s recommended dish for Valentine’s Day at The Scallop Shell

actually got on really well at work. She works on a lot of the back-of-house stuff and will help with any job, nothing’s too small or too much for her to do. I’m so proud of how much hard work she puts in. I have learned though, that when she’s wrong, she’s still right! What are your secrets to success as a couple who work together? We try never to mix professional and domestic life when we’re at work together. I want everyone to be happy at work here and that’s crucial to us getting on and doing our separate jobs.


ountless proposals, tens of wedding receptions and one love-at-first sight meeting – the romantic moments that Bath restaurant owners have witnessed seem never ending. As February is the month of amour, we decided this would be the perfect time to discover their stories, ask them how they go about creating a romantic atmosphere and menu, and discover how they’ve struck a balance between work and home life…


The husband and wife business duo have separate roles within their seafood restaurant. Garry is the chef and owner, and Lisa works at the back of house, getting involved in “anything and everything”. Garry tells us more… How do you find working together as a couple? When we first started working together 10 years ago; I asked Lisa if she’d give up her job and come and work with us. After a few initial nerves, hoping she wouldn’t hate my kitchen banter, we

What are the best and worst parts of being in business together? Having our own business was a dream of ours and the restaurant has been the icing on the cake. Lisa has always supported me in everything I’ve done and we’ve been able to create something we’re immensely proud of and that has changed our life. That is the best thing about being in a business together. The worst thing is that, although we don’t mix business and our private life, sometimes we’ll carry on talking about the business when we get home. I guess we’re both just so proud of it and we just can’t help taking our work home.





Why is your restaurant a romantic option – especially for Valentine’s Day? We all associate seafood with romance, and for Valentine’s Day this year we’ll hopefully have crab and lobster and lots of other shellfish on the menu and, naturally, some oysters too. We’ll also be serving up some sharing plates like whole sea bream, grilled with rosemary and garlic for two to share. So start with a glass of prosecco, and of course some oysters, and we hope people will enjoy having a seafood feast. When our upstairs extension is finished and our terrace opens, that’ll be a great, romantic date night setting too. What’s your favourite eatery in the city? I used to say that table 101 at the Moon and Sixpence, for those that will remember, was our favourite spot. Allium, however, is just such a special restaurant. Have you witnessed many an affectionate moment between diners? We’re still waiting for someone to propose in the restaurant, so maybe this year is the year! 22 Monmouth Place, Bath; w I BATH LIFE I 31




The married couple own the gastropub along with The Garrick’s Head on St Johns Place, and The Oakhill Inn in Somerset. Amanda tells us more… Do you enjoy working side by side? We’ve been working together for 13 years and find it works really well as long as we both know what the other is doing. Of course there are moments when we both lock horns on something and then it can feel like a fight to the death, but we are both passionate people so there’s bound to be some fireworks. What do you believe to be your secret weapon in business? Our very different character traits, which compliment each other. Where one is weak the other is strong, and vice versa. Of the restaurants you own, which one has the most romantic tales? There’s a lovely story behind one of them. The King William, which was named after King William IV, once faced the Queen Adelaide public house across the junction of Thomas Street where it meets the London Road. King William IV was married to Adelaide in 1818 and their marriage Above: Amanda and Charlie Digney of the King William; left: the couple also own The Garrick’s Head which is serving up delicious dishes for Valentine’s Day




was a happy one. It’s said that when William was dying Adelaide refused to leave his bedside, not sleeping for four nights in order to nurse him. True love indeed. Our pub and dining rooms have been the catalyst to many, more modern, romances, one of which is very close to us. Our very good friend came to stay with us for the New Year in 2010; the evening he arrived he had one of those love-at-first-sight moments with Sam. They had their wedding 18 months later at the Guildhall, and then came the wedding party at the Garrick’s Head. What dishes would you recommend for a romantic meal for two? We like to give the option of a sharing dish for the main course, and we will always make sure there is an irresistible chocolate pudding to share too. The space at the King William is so cosy and intimate that we feel it oozes romance without having to try too hard. Where’s your favourite place to share a dinner in Bath? We like to have fun and great food too, so our number one choice at the moment is Olé Tapas. It reminds us of the food we enjoyed on our honeymoon in San Sebastián. 36 Thomas Street, Bath; w




Have you witnessed many loving moments at your restaurant? Within our first three months, we had our first marriage proposal. The gentleman proposed to his girlfriend down on one knee. The whole restaurant cheered with delight.




What dishes feature on your Valentine’s Day menu? Sharing dishes such as charcuterie to start, chateaubriand as a main, and tarte fine aux pommes for dessert. What’s your favourite romantic foodie venue in Bath? The Olive Tree is special for us because, just before we had our second child, we spent a weekend in Bath at The Queensberry Hotel and had a romantic evening at the Olive Tree downstairs. 15 Argyle Street, Bath;


The couple, who opened their only other Clifton Sausage in Bristol in 2002, brought their very British restaurant to Bath last October. They both tell us more… How do you find working together as a couple? Joy: After working as a general manager in different restaurants for several years, it’s really

SARAH OLIVIER AND CHRIS TABBITT OF CHEZ DOMINIQUE Along with Chris’s parents, the pair own the French restaurant which opened five months ago. Head chef Chris, who swapped his role as executive chef at Bowood House in Calne to start this restaurant, tells us more…

Is being in business together rewarding? We really enjoy it as we share the same goals and vision. We, mostly, get on really well. We both have specific roles in the business, we listen to each other’s ideas, and we take it in turns to be supportive and share the workload. Share your favourite and least favourite parts of working together… The best part is knowing we’re working hard to create a future for our children, and the worst is not seeing each other – some weeks we don’t spend enough time together as family when working opposite shifts. Why is yours an ideal venue in which to spend Valentine’s Day? It is cosy and intimate, the lighting creates a perfect atmosphere, and we are French – you don’t get much more romantic! 34 I BATH LIFE I



nice to be working alongside my husband. Simon: It’s lovely to build our business and create together. We’ve been married for nine years and we’re a very solid team. What are your secrets to success in business? Joy: We have very different responsibilities, which makes us more efficient. However when it comes to the big, important decisions, we like to make those together. Simon: It’s important to have time that’s not about work. We have a young family and we’re very good at balancing our time between the restaurants and our girls. Would you say your restaurant is a good place for a date night? Joy: Our Bath restaurant has beautiful views over to Bathwick and beyond which are just spectacular for a city centre location, and it offers a stylish, relaxing atmosphere in comfortable elegant surroundings, perfect for a date. The menu has something for everyone, which makes us a great choice for new couples, as well as those who have stood the test of time. This Valentine’s Day we will be offering some delicious specials designed especially for sharing. Have you spotted many heart warming moments at your eatery? Simon: We had a couple who had their first date with us at our other branch in Bristol, and then had their wedding reception with us a few years later. That was pretty special, we love being a footnote in their story. 5, Bladud Buildings, The Paragon, Bath;

Opposite page, top: Sarah and Oliver and Chris Tabbitt of Chez Dominique; opposite page, below: Simon and Joy Quarrie of The Clifton Sausage, Bath; this page, above: chocolatey deliciousness at Raphael; below: Jane and Kambiz Shayegan, owners of Raphael

JANE AND KAMBIZ SHAYEGAN OF RAPHAEL The husband and wife co-own the Europeaninspired restaurant along with The Oven, Vino Vino, and Amarone in Bath. Jane tells us more…

Would you consider Raphael to be a romantic restaurant? I believe it to be a perfect choice for a Valentine’s dinner as it has soft music, candlelit tables, a comfortable atmosphere and warm but unobtrusive service. It’s romantic for us on a personal level, too, as it’s the place where Kambiz and I first met, 31 years ago. Have you witnessed many a loving moment at the tables? Many of our customers spend their wedding anniversaries with us; our chefs often find themselves creating a unique dessert ‘a deux’ when we find out a couple are celebrating. My own parents enjoyed their 53rd wedding anniversary with us last year. Give us an idea of what’s on your Valentine’s Day menu... To start, a trio of fromage: crispy bread-crumbed camembert, warm mature cheddar and onion tartin with pear chutney, and a salad of blue cheese with toasted pecans and watercress with a honey and mustard dressing. For main, a seafood medley: pan-fried seabass fillet, king scallops and salmon escalope on a bed of spinach, broccoli and peas, served with garlic, shallot and parsley butter. Then, for dessert, a vanilla bean panna cotta with raspberry and sparkling wine jelly, fruity coulis and pistachio nut shortbread. Gascoyne House, Upper Borough Walls, Bath; w I BATH LIFE I 35




The pair co-own the relaxed, informal restaurant where Ben, the chef, whips up Italian and Spanishinspired rustic dishes. Rosy tells us more… How long have you and Ben been in business together? We’ve run The Bathwick Boatman together for 10 years now. We love this place and we couldn’t imagine running it without each other’s loving support – it’s what keeps us going. Would you class your restaurant as a romantic one? Our customers seem to think so. Although we don’t advertise weddings, we serve about 40 receptions every year here; there have been several proposals here, and it always seems to be a romantic ‘secret’ place for many Bath residents. What’s your favourite place for a date night in Bath? We love the Old Crown Inn in Kelston. Forester Road, Bathwick;

Ben and Rosy Hall of The Bathwick Boatman, with their two children

Expect traditionally Nepalese à la carte dishes at Yak Yeti Yak

Passion fruit brûlée from the special Valentine’s Day set menu at Combe Grove


It has a way of enchanting visitors as soon as they step through the door; the grand ceilings, the crystal chandelier, live classical music and crisp, white tablecloths instantly give the impression that you have entered somewhere truly special. Valentine’s offer (14 February only): The menu is £59 per person; expect an evening of PiperHeidsieck champagne and a decadent five-course feast including options such as Wiltshire lamb, and meringue with hazelnut cream and fudge. The Pump Room, Stall Street, Bath;

Combe Grove Hotel & Spa

Set atop a hill within 70 acres of woodland, the restaurant sits inside a stately Grade-II house and


boasts an award-winning head chef. Valentine’s offer (10 – 18 February): For £55 per head, guests will be treated to a tasting menu, prepared by chef Leigh Evans, featuring unusual flavour combinations such as seared scallops with black treacle and apple, and pan-fried salmon with beetroot, cream cheese and olives. Combe Grove, Brassknocker Hill, Bath;

Yak Yeti Yak

Run by husband and wife Sera and Sarah Gurung – who met whilst guiding expeditions in Nepal – the low-lit restaurant is traditionally Nepalese with bags of character and offers a cosy, subterranean space tucked inside a beautiful, listed 18th century town house. Valentine’s offer: It’s the usual à la carte offering – expect to see some popular dishes including black lentil maasko dal; pork sag aloo; and lamb tamar. 12 Pierrepont Street, Bath;

For a more formal surrounding, try The Pump Room Restaurant



Not only is The Holburne Museum hosting the UK’s first exhibition devoted to the Bruegel dynasty, but it also includes newly discovered paintings from their own collection. In Bruegel: Defining a Dynasty, Wedding Dance in the Open Air is one of the key pieces, and is an oil painting previously thought to be the work of a copyist or follower of Bruegel, but following recent conservation work and technical examination, can now be attributed to the hand of Pieter Bruegel the Younger. The exhibition will unravel the complex Bruegel family tree, revealing the originality and diversity of Antwerp’s famous artistic dynasty across four generations through 35 works, including masterpieces from the National Gallery, Royal Collection Trust and the National Trust. Wedding Dance in the Open Air can be seen at The Holburne Museum as part of the Bruegel: Defining a Dynasty exhibition from 11 February – 4 June; I BATH LIFE I 39

4 February – 4 March

Chinese classical guitarist Xuefei Yang is performing at part of Bath Bachfest; Beasty Baby comes to the Theatre Royal Bath to tell the tale of three adults and their chaotic attempts to bring up a gorgeously grizzly baby; Amanda Abbington takes on the role of the frightening Bev in Mike Leigh’s classic comedy Abigail’s Party

Exhibitions UNTIL 9 FEBRUARY

BOO MALLINSON Soft, contemplative abstracts from Boo Mallinson explore the realms of memory with an air of atmospheric weightlessness. bath contemporary;


JEAN ROSE: THE POETRY OF THE EVERYDAY Jean Rose was among the first artists to enrol at the Bath Academy of Art in the late 1940s. Sixty five years later she is still at work in the city, with beautiful works celebrating everyday social activities, such as gardening. Victoria Art Gallery;


IMPRESSIONS ON PAPER An exhibition devoted to works of art on paper through watercolour, drawing, etching and linocut prints which includes the artists Hugh Buchanan, Lydia Corbett, Walter Lindner, Steven Hubbard and Andrew Lansley. David Simon Contemporary; www.


PETER BROWN: A BATH PAINTER’S TRAVELS This exhibition features over 100 stunning new oil paintings and drawings from all over the world by Bath-based artist Peter Brown, known as Pete the Street for his habit of painting his artwork outdoors, whatever the weather. Victoria Art Gallery;


LOVE ROSTRA Celebrate Rostra Gallery’s 20th year anniversary with an exhibition celebrating the theme of love, and highlighting their renowned collection of artists including Janine Roper, Susie Grindey and Charlotte Farmer. Rostra Gallery;



WINTER WORKS An exhibition of paintings and prints by Bath-based artist Nick Cudworth that capture the light and beauty to be found in winter landscapes. Nick Cudworth Gallery; UNTIL 28 FEBRUARY


An exhibition of land, sea and sky paintings, all celebrating the power of colour and its ability to work with subtlety on our spirit and emotions, by award winning local artist Emma Rose. Emma Rose Art Works; UNTIL 28 FEBRUARY

CAROLE WALLER Alongside art to wear clothes by Bath-artist Carole Waller, the ongoing exhibition includes ceramics by Gary Wood, jewellery by Annie Beardsley plus many other affordable artists. One Two Five gallery; UNTIL 28 FEBRUARY

KIT GLAISYER: THE CINEMATIC LANDSCAPE On display in his new Bath studio

W H AT ’ S O N



DRAWN TO THE LAND This ongoing and exploratory project by award winning documentary photographer Sophie Gerrard takes an intimate and stark look at the contemporary Scottish landscape, through a series of fascinating photographs of female farmers. Fox Talbot Museum, Lacock Abbey; UNTIL 28 APRIL

HILARY PAYNTER: AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT A striking new body of wood-engraving work by Hilary Paynter, specifically commissioned by Devon Guild of Craftsmen, on the subject of ageing. Art at the Heart of the RUH; UNTIL 17 MAY

Above: See Susie Grindey’s artwork which is feeling the love for Bath Rugby at Rostra Gallery; below: the enchanting collection of Peter Brown’s paintings from both his travels and his Bath hometown continues at Victoria Art Gallery

are Kit Glaisyer’s evocative paintings of Dorset landscapes and atmospheric Bath scenes. Open by appointment. 48 Great Pulteney Street; UNTIL 5 MARCH

DJORDJE OZBOLT: THE GRAND DETOUR By ‘invading’ the grounds of The Holburne museum, Ozbolt, the Serbian artist, creates new works from old collections, and leads us to discover and consider exciting, fresh perspectives on the past. The Holburne Museum;

TRANSFORMATION A major solo exhibition of sculpture in the pioneering gallery and arts centre based in Bruton, by the late Elisabeth Frink, that comprises a selection of her distinctive bronzes, alongside a series of drawings that highlight her considerable skill as a draughtsman. Hauser & Wirth Somerset; UNTIL 30 MAY

#IGERSBATH Celebrate some of the best photography of Bath, by the talented people of Bath, with this Instagrammers exhibition supported by The Bath Pizza Co. Green Park Brasserie; www. UNTIL 1 JANUARY 2018

LACE IN FASHION The Fashion Museum Bath’s special exhibition for 2017 w


W H AT ’ S O N

Ogden joins one of the largest and most respected professional orchestras in the South West to perform a trio of delights, De Falla’s Ritual Fire Dance; Rodrigo’s Guitar Concerto; and Ravel’s Mother Goose. 7.30pm, £25-£15. The Assembly Rooms;

is Lace in Fashion, which showcases over 50 exquisite pieces, showing how lace has been used in fashion, from the time of Shakespeare to the present day. Fashion Museum; U N TI L 1 J ANUARY 2019

A HISTORY OF FASHION IN 100 OBJECTS The Fashion Museum presents 100 ‘star’ objects that illustrate a fascinating history of fashion from the 1600s to the present day, referencing huge, groundbreaking moments in history, as well as the more personal and quieter stories about clothes. Fashion Museum;

14 – 18 FEBRUARY

GREAT EXPECTATIONS The talented and highlyacclaimed Next Stage Youth Theatre Company bring this gritty adaptation of Dickens’ least sentimental love story to the stage with a cast of some of his most unforgettable characters. £12. The Mission Theatre;



JAMES CAPPER – SCULPTURE & HYDRAULICS The works of artist James Capper demonstrate his passion for hydraulic engineering, fascination with technology and references land art and insects. The Edge;

BONBON CABARET A kissy-kissy compendium of comedy cabaret and rib-tickling repartee, with musical comedian Tracey Collins, Saskia Maxwell, the Widcombe Players, Bill Smarme and the pickled egg raffle. 7.30pm, £14. Widcombe Social Club; www.bathcomedy. com


BRUEGEL: DEFINING A DYNASTY This exciting new exhibition not only shines a light on the quality of The Holburne Museum’s Flemish paintings, but also on the great wealth of paintings by the Bruegel dynasty in the UK. Turn to page 39 for more. The Holburne Museum;


Top: Walter Lindner’s rooster is being exhibited at David Simon Contemporary; below: folk singer Kate Dimbleby brings her storytelling sounds to the Ustinov



HISTORY THROUGH A LENS: ICONIC PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE INCITE PROJECT This show focuses on single iconic images and their power, profiling over 75 photographs taken from the Incite Project, that have changed public perception of world events. They include the assassination of John F Kennedy, a rare shot of the Normandy D-Day landing and Nelson Mandela in his cell on Robben Island. Victoria Art Gallery;

as well as jovial images of local crofters’ sheep. Victoria Art Gallery;



TOM HICKMAN: FOLLOWING THE THREAD Using reclaimed Harris Tweed wools, self-taught artist Tom Hickman stitches complex high relief stump-work embroidery,

SEANN WALSH Even though he’d rather be at home watching Sky Sports News, Seann makes the effort to point out how hilarious your daily routine is. (See our interview with him on page 46). 8pm, £15. Komedia;


HONG LING: SELECTED Hong Ling is a contemporary Chinese artist, whose work unites the distinct yet delicate essence of traditional Chinese landscape painting with refined oil painting technical precision and ambitious breadth of scale and subject. Museum of East Asian Art;

revival of Wayne McGregor’s critically acclaimed ballet triptych, inspired by the works of Virginia Woolf. 7.15pm, £15. Wiltshire Music Centre; 8 – 18 FEBRUARY

THE MISER Griff Rhys Jones, Lee Mack and Mathew Horne star in this hilarious adaptation of Molière’s classic comedy. Fanatical about protecting his wealth, the paranoid Harpagon suspects all of trying to filch his fortune and will go to any length to protect it. £18-£33.50. Theatre Royal Bath;


THE ROYAL BALLET: WOOLF WORKS A live stream ballet of the first



BATH PHILHARMONIA Australian born guitarist Craig

THE MINISTRY OF BURLESQUE’S TWISTED CABARET An uproarious revue of razor-wit and frisky burlesque featuring the daring antics of scantily clad showgirls, the sultriest of sirens and the edgiest comic-cabaret masters. 8pm, £17. Komedia; 27 FEBRUARY

JENNY ECLAIR Professional grumpy old woman, Splash survivor, amateur soup maker, and novice knitter, Jenny Eclair is younger than Madonna but eats crisps and likes wine. Here she explains how to be a middle-aged woman (without going insane). 7.30pm, £17.50. Komedia; w


W H AT ’ S O N

1 – 11 MARCH

ABIGAIL’S PARTY Amanda Abbington, stars as Beverly in Mike Leigh’s terrifying classic comedy dealing with 70s suburban cruelty, cheesy-pineapples and Bacardi and coke. £19.50-£33.50. Theatre Royal Bath;


A HANDFUL OF SINGERS A Handful of Singers is a highly acclaimed choir of 24 singers directed by award winning conductor Christopher Finch. Here they are accompanied by the period-instrument chamber orchestra Quorum, complete with natural trumpets and drums, with a programme that includes Handel’s ever-popular anthem Zadok the Priest. 7.30pm, £15. St. John the Evangelist, South Parade; 10 FEBRUARY

DORIC STRING QUARTET Mendelssohn’s first string quartet is set alongside Berg’s Lyric Suite, which depicts the composer’s clandestine love for a married friend. The Quartet will be joined by international pianist Alasdair Beatson for Elgar’s Piano Quintet. 7.30pm, £20. Wiltshire Music Centre; 11 FEBRUARY

RISE ’N’ DANCE A celebratory evening in support of the One Billion Rising Revolution, a movement building solidarity against the exploitation of women. 8pm, £15. Chapel Arts Centre; 15 FEBRUARY

GABRIELLE APLIN With her acoustic pop-folk sounds, Gabrielle returns to her Bath hometown with an impressive record sheet including sales of over two million singles and 150 million Spotify streams. 7.30pm, £16.50. Komedia; 16 – 18 FEBRUARY

BATH BACHFEST This six-concert, three-day festival celebrates the music of Johann Sebastian Bach and

his baroque contemporaries. The programme includes a lunchtime concert with the outstanding Chinese classical guitarist Xuefei Yang and the Heath Quartet. For more information on prices, times and venues, visit 17 FEBRUARY

JIM MORAY For 15 years Jim Moray has been at the forefront of a new movement in English traditional music with his debut album Sweet England winning a brace of awards for its innovative melding of orchestration and electronica. 8pm, £15. Chapel Arts Centre; 17 & 18 FEBRUARY

KATE DIMBLEBY Kate, daughter of David, is touring to promote her latest album SongBirds, which is a unique and compelling recording of original selfpenned songs featuring nothing other than Kate’s sublime voice without any musical accompaniment. 8pm, £14. Ustinov;

Artist James Capper demonstrates his passion for hydraulic engineering at The Edge

between buildings, and drifts of snowmen haunt the streets. But down in a secret bolthole, a band of survivors and misfits, dance in the dark. 7+. £8.50/£7.50. the egg; 13 – 17 FEBRUARY


THE MEMBRANES After a 26-year break, the postpunk band from Blackpool, released a hugely critically acclaimed album in 2015 – Dark Matter/Dark Energy – and supported The Stranglers on their recent tour. They are supported by John Peel’s favourites The Nightingales, who are also making it count on the contemporary music scene. 7pm, £15. Komedia; 2 MARCH

STOMPIN’ DAVE With 25 years of performing experience, Stompin’ Dave is a vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and tap dancer with a penchant for bluegrass, blues, country, folk and rock n roll. 7.30pm, £12. Chapel Arts Centre;

Family fun 10 – 14 FEBRUARY

BENEATH THE BLIZZARD Since the disaster, nobody has ventured above ground. It’s not safe as an icy wind screams


KIDS’ DISCOVERY WEEK Aimed at families, this is a chance to explore the Haynes International Motor Museum and the education centre, by being set a series of missions and puzzles. 10.30am-3.30pm. Haynes International Motor Museum; 16 – 26 FEBRUARY

BEASTY BABY Using an inspired mix of puppetry and live music, Beasty Baby is a chaotic and laughter-filled story about three people embarking on a wild adventure to bring up a very mischievous and totally loveable child. £8.50. the egg;



BATH ARTISAN MARKET This buzzy Sunday market plays host to over 70 stalls selling the best of the west’s upcycled vintage, handmade and art treasures with gourmet food stalls and a craft workshop area. 10am-3pm. Green Park Station; www. 16 FEBRUARY

THE TWILIGHT TALK: DIOR BY DIOR Soizic Pfaff, chief archivist at the House of Dior since 1974, gives a special Twilight Talk, providing an insight into the history and working of the ultimate Paris couture house. 6.15pm-7.15pm, £10. Fashion Museum; 26 FEBRUARY

EBIKETIPS LIVE The inaugural ebiketips event offers, along with electric bikes, a huge selection of road bikes for testing on the pristine, traffic-free Odd Down cycle circuit. 9.30am4.30pm, £30. Odd Down cycle track;


BATH VINTAGE AND ANTIQUES MARKET Amid the 60 traders selling retro jewellery, collectable antiques and upcycled wonders, there’s also a DJ spinning original vinyl, an organic juice bar and a restaurant offering Sunday lunches. Green Park Station;

3 – 5 MARCH

BATH DECORATIVE ANTIQUES FAIR The 28th fair of its kind, and with around 45 exhibitors attending, it fair promises to be a trove of unique treasures, art, furniture and artifacts. £5. The Pavilion, North Parade Road; www.

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WIT of the WALSH He’ll be making us all laugh in the city later this month, so before his show, we caught up with one of the most in-demand stand-ups, Seann Walsh, to talk awkward Bath memories and unexpected twists By JA M E S R A M P T ON a nd L I SA E VA NS


hen you ask a person who hasn’t visited Bath for a while what their memories are of the city, the replies will invariably include mentions of the magnificent architecture and the historic landmarks. Comedian Seann Walsh’s very specific memory, however, is, in his typical style, quite awkward and unpolished. “I performed at the club at Komedia Bath seven or eight years ago,” says the dishevelled stand-up, who’s best known for appearances on BBC’s Live at The Apollo and Channel 4’s comedy quiz show Virtually Famous. “I remember because it was the first time a girl approached me after the gig to have a drink. At the time I could only speak to girls if I was extremely drunk. I wasn’t extremely drunk so I got the train home. “The second time was a work-in-progress for the current show tour,” he adds. “The one thing I noticed was that Bath’s audiences stare at me a lot more than most audiences.” On the face of it, neither experience sounds particularly positive, but Seann assures us that they made lasting impressions and were, ultimately, encouraging. “Comedians spend a lot of time on their own, and then finally they have a person or an audience to share their ideas with,” he says. “Maybe it’s all about alleviating the loneliness. I like that! I’m going to change my tour title to Alleviating the Loneliness!” The observational comedian, who is rapidly becoming one of the most in-demand stand-ups in the country, is currently on a major nationwide tour with a new show entitled One for the Road, which he’ll bring to Bath this month. At Komedia Bath, expect him to cast his unrivalled gaze across his own life and develop and adlib some outstandingly funny routines. “I love coming off the script,” he says. “I try to do the show for as long as possible without going into my own material. As long as the audience are up for it, I won’t start my routine. I’m very reactionary. If someone joins in, I just go with it. I’m absolutely open to anything. It’s great fun.” But he adds that the audience should watch out for the show’s unexpected twist. “At the beginning of the show,” he says, “I’ll ask the audience to write down what really annoys them. Then at the end, I’ll randomly read them out. They listen to me for an hour, and then I get to listen to them. After the scripted show, I’ll get to mess around. That will be a lot of fun.”

Seann, whose recent TV appearances include ITV1’s The Jonathan Ross Show, Channel 4’s 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, and Alan Carr: Chatty Man, gets masses of comic mileage out of pessimism. “Moaning works really well in comedy,” he says. “Stand-up is a true representation of life. So do you really want to listen to someone telling you what a wonderful time they’ve had? No, you have no interest in that. If someone is saying, ‘I’ve had a lovely day. I went jogging, then went to the gym and I’ve only eaten vegetables and no carbs,’ you’re just bored. But if someone tells you they have broken their leg, lost their job and split with their partner, you put the kettle on! Moaning is so effective because people only want to hear about other people’s pain. “I also love finding absurdity in the normal,” he adds. “I love catching funny things that no one else has noticed. For example, I recently realised what it means to be in a relationship for a long time. Single people seem to have freedom – they can do what they want and not suffer the consequences. They can leave litter lying around and no one will have a go at them. But it’s just occurred to me that we are in relationships so someone else can pass us the water. That’s what love is. It’s all about passing!” Our conversation ends with Seann disclosing some of the other subjects he will be talking about in One for the Road. As his last show was about him moving in with his girlfriend, and how that changed him, this show will be the next chapter of that story. “My girlfriend is very healthy, and I’ve noticed that since we’ve been living together, my fridge has gone. It used to be full of Pepperami and Cheese Strings. But now, although it may look like a fridge from the outside, on the inside it’s like an allotment, full of cabbages and kale. That’s one of the ways in which my life has changed. Another aspect of getting older is that, now I’m 30, I use the word ‘avocado’ and it doesn’t feel weird. I can look people in the eye and say that word. It’s very bizarre.” Hitting his stride now, Seann continues, “You have to calm down when you’re 30. You can’t behave as you did in your 20s. You give up on nightly socialising and sign a contract that says, ‘For this part of my life, all I’m going to do is watch box sets’.” Although he says he adores being on TV – as well as watching other people on TV – his real love is, and will always be, stand-up. “It’s all about you,” he says. “It’s what you think. It’s just you, and I love that.” As do Seann’s legions of fans.





See Seann Walsh at Komedia Bath on 17 February. For more information, visit

ONE TO ONE Not even a visit to Bath can persuade Seann to tighten his tie or iron his shirt I BATH LIFE I xx

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Night Prayers by Santiago Gamboa (Europa Editions, £11.99). This is a truly international reading experience as philosophy student Manuel’s story begins in Colombia but soon shifts to Thailand when he travels to Bangkok in search of his missing sister. Unfortunately, that trip to be reunited with his beloved sister, Juana, goes badly wrong when Manuel is arrested by the Thai authorities and accused of drug trafficking. Stranded in prison and faced with a potential death penalty (unless he shows remorse and enters a guilty plea) Manuel comes to rely on the intervention of the nearest Colombian diplomat, actually located in Delhi, who is determined to save Manuel and bring the siblings together.


From impressive sea voyages to dangerous drug runs, these are the around-the-world reads to pick up now By N IC BO T T OM L E Y


y early 2017 reading is dominated by absorbing three stacks of books that I’m judging for three different literary prizes. From the perspective of this fair column, the upside to that is that soon I’m going to have lots of books to recommend for you, but the downside is that until the prize winners have been announced, I’d better keep schtum! That’s why, for this column, I’ve wandered round the shop finding out what my colleagues have been enjoying so far this year. And, as often happens in these parts, three conversations led me to three very different novels hailing from three very different nations. My colleague Lucinda is a one-woman marketing board for the writing of the French novelist, Michel Déon. It was his 1975 novel The Foundling Boy that got her (and many customers) started, but now she’s equally enamoured with the third recent translation from Gallic Books which was published just before Christmas.

The Great and the Good (£8.99) follows a young man named Arthur Morgan as he heads to America to begin work as an intern for a stockbroker. Despite his relatively modest background, somehow or other Arthur’s mother manages to upgrade his ticket on the Queen Mary to first class, making his journey as much of a learning experience as the time in his destination. Before the characters arrive in New York, the first half of the novel sees Arthur at sea, both literally and socially as he hangs onto the coat tails of some of the charming and exotic bright young things that he meets on board. Déon’s talent for pithy and entertaining observation comes to the fore as Arthur watches the goings on of a social set he’s never previously liaised with. Soon enough we’re closely following Arthur’s attempts to make headway in that exclusive circle, as he falls for the beautiful South American Augusta (to the chagrin of her brother who has other ideas about who she should be marrying). Keeping the South American connection going, Tom at Mr B’s has just finished reading a literary thriller of sorts called

WIOLA’S IS A TRADITIONAL CHILDHOOD LIVED IN A TIGHT COMMUNITY Finally back to Europe, with my colleague Jess’s first reading triumph of the year, set in rural Poland. Swallowing Mercury by Wioletta Greg (Granta, £12.99) is the tale of one girl’s childhood growing up in a small Polish village told through vignettes which together build up to a collection of memories. Initially Wiola lives alone with her mother whilst her father languishes in prison having deserted the army. Upon his return later on in the book, Wiola barely recognises her moustachioed father as he settles into life as a taxidermist. Wiola’s is a traditional childhood lived in a tight community that is very influenced by the Catholic church and by the folklore handed down by generations. But it’s also a childhood of imagination as she grows up, surrounded by stories and avidly collecting her matchbox labels, in a seemingly timeless and lost corner of Europe. So, take your pick, epic sea voyages to the West, dangerous drug-runs to the East or a quiet eccentric life in Europe’s hidden centre, the choice is yours.

Nic Bottomley is the general manager of Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights, 14/15 John Street, Bath; 01225 331155; I BATH LIFE I 51

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Clockwise, from top left: Loving is a success-againstthe-odds marriage story; Toni Erdmann is the tale of a man with an affection for elaborate practical jokes, the coming-of-age film 20th Century Women; Fences is all about a struggle against racism in America

AND THE WINNER IS… This time of year may be bleak, but it’s the most celebrated month for film, with the Academy Awards just around the corner. Here are the Little’s top choices… By J E N N I F E R J E N N I NGS W R IGH T


.S. Lewis once described this time of year as ‘the waiting room of the world – the leaves not yet out, mud everywhere you go’. What he carelessly forgot to mention was what a wondrously warm and welcoming time of the year to watch films at a cosy arthouse cinema. And what fabulous features we have to offer you in the month where film is celebrated at the highest level with the Academy Awards. No stranger to the Oscar himself, Denzel Washington has been floating around the film firmament for years now and is always up to something interesting. This time, talented Den is directing the hit stage play Fences, which he brings to the screen with an accomplished hand and a great cast including the fabulous Viola Davis. It’s all about a chap looking back at his life and his struggle to make his way against the racism that has been endemic in America for much of its history. It’s also about friction with his family and battles with himself. So there’s a load of argy bargy going on and it’s fair to say it’s not the jolliest watch. But blimey it’s good.


The success-against-the-odds marriage of Richard and Mildred Loving was remarkable not just for their implausibly apposite surname, although that would be enough in my book. Not since boxing brethren the Thumpers has there been such a fittingly named pair. Oh, and the Chuckle Brothers. I mean, what are the chances? Anyway, back to the film. Falling in love in 1950s Virginia, the Lovings get hitched in Washington DC and move back home to start out on their married life. However, a midnight police raid on their home makes it clear that they’re on the wrong side of the law. Their crime? They are a mixed-race couple in a state where miscegenation laws ban mixed-race marriage. Imprisoned for a spell, the Lovings eventually have to leave their home state but yearn to return, so Mildred writes to the Attorney General, a certain Mr Robert Kennedy (whom we saw in Jackie last month of course), who forwards the letter to the ACLU. A legal case then ensues against the state, and the action in due course goes all the way to the Supreme Court. I’m not going to give anything away so I won’t go on (those of you who can’t wait to find out can of course just Google whether mixed-race marriage is banned anywhere in the US). Loving is a superbly affecting film, with believable and moving performances from Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton as the couple for whom America was anything but the land of the free. Now on to Hidden Figures, another story



from a similar period. In the run up to the Apollo space programme, the mathematics was a bit more complex than most could manage, to put it mildly. Carol Vorderman not being available at the time, the NASA chaps had to look elsewhere. Going very much against the zeitgeist, they employed three black women who were mathematical marvels, and who became known as ‘the human computers’. It was down to their ingenuity that John Glenn didn’t fry like a sausage on re-entry in Friendship 7 and that the moonshots worked at all. Well done them. Mind you, I’m sure that, given a slide rule and enough time, I could have had a stab at it. What would be the worst that could happen? Proving that dads can be just as embarrassing in German, Toni Erdmann is the tale of a middle-aged man, Winfried Conradi, with an affection for elaborate practical jokes mainly in the form of disguises (including some super false teeth not too dissimilar to Austin Powers’)and humorous lies. The poor individual who has to deal with his jests is his adult daughter, Ines, who is less than impressed with her father when he decides to visit her in Bucharest where she’s working. When Ines gives Winfried his marching orders, enter alter-ego Toni claiming to be her CEO’s life coach. As the madness ensues, Ines rises to the challenge and ultimately decides to keep her bonkers dad in her life. Set aside a good threehour slot to watch the film that looks to be the front-runner for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. I’m not joking. Despite the title, 20th Century Women is more a coming-of-age film, set in the late 70s California, with 15-year-old Jamie at the heart of it. With no father figure to speak of, Jamie’s mother, Dorothea (played rather superbly by Annette Bening) is concerned about her son’s upbringing and whether or not she is doing everything within her power to ensure he turns out to be a good man. Coupled with the inevitable teenage angst are the equally inevitable barriers between mother and son. Finally, if you prefer to save Valentine’s Day for some loved-up night in, fear not – we’re showing our annual snog-fest on 12 February. The film this year is Breakfast at Tiffany’s, starring the elfin-like Audrey Hepburn as phoney socialite Holly Golightly, and the gorge George Peppard as Paul Varjak, who delivers some of the most romantic lines ever uttered on screen. I still go all funny. And get this, not only will the balcony sofas be available, we’re also including bubbles and choccie to go with it. Love the Little.

The Little Theatre, 1-2 St Michael’s Place 01225 466822; I BATH LIFE I 53


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When it comes to property, there is one new address that you need to see. Linden Homes has launched its flagship Ensleigh development in Bath and the homes are big, beautiful and perfectly situated


et in an elevated position in Lansdown, Ensleigh is an exclusive new development of three, four and five bedroom executive homes, just minutes from Bath’s city centre and with the countryside close by. Priced from £399,950 and built to a high standard, each property in the current release of homes has parking for at least two cars and some have balconies, striking bi-fold doors and sumptuous dressing rooms. Finished in stone and white render, with attractive slate roofs, the houses at Ensleigh are contemporary and built to a high quality. Sue Scholfield, sales and marketing director for Linden Homes, says, “We’re creating generous-sized homes with good parking in a special location, so we’re not surprised that we’ve already reserved two-thirds of the properties released. The homes are large – some are 2,172 square foot – and the show home is light and well-designed. Sue adds, “I just love Ensleigh, it really is a beautiful development and there are some absolutely gorgeous views over the rolling countryside. If you haven’t visited us yet then you must, as homes like this don’t come on the market very often.” The detached Candese home is 1,604 square foot and boasts a spacious open plan

living/dining area, with bi-fold doors leading out to the garden. There’s a stylish kitchen, downstairs toilet/utility room and a perfect work-from-home study. Upstairs there’s a luxurious master bedroom with built-in wardrobes, a balcony and en-suite shower room, plus three additional double bedrooms and a family bathroom. Priced at £799,000, the four bedroom property also includes a garage, parking for two cars and a desirable southfacing garden. Sue adds “We have some homes ready

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now. If you have a property to sell, our part exchange* scheme could help you move quicker than you think. We could buy your home so you could move to Ensleigh chainfree and we’ll even pay the estate agent fees.” The show home enables visitors to appreciate the sizeable proportions. The marketing suite and show home are open daily from 10am to 5pm, off Granville Road, Lansdown, Bath, BA1 5AB. Visit for more details or call 01225 560 300.




Sam’s Kitchen Walcot Street’s popular café-restaurant has opened its cooler-than-cool Frome outpost, to much fanfare. Of course, we had to investigate... By V E L I M I R I L IC ust 10 or so years ago, Frome – bear with us here – was a tumbleweed sort of market town, nothing much happening, its properties as cheap as chips. These days, with a thriving independent spirit and arts scene, it’s an entirely different story. Property prices have rocketed by almost 40 per cent in the last year alone, the hugely popular monthly independent street market – Frome’s very own Brick Lane, if you will – attracts thousands of visitors, and the town teems with gorgeous little independently owned shops and boutiques. In short, Frome is booming – no wonder so many DFLs (Down From London) are upping sticks and making it their permanent home. The town massively punches above its weight for great cafés, too – The River House, The Garden Cafe, Diva’s, Moo and Two, to name just a few. The newest, and arguably most obvious symbol of Frome’s metamorphosis to quirky, contemporary town du jour is Sam’s Kitchen. Bath’s foodies, of course, will know Sam’s as a go-to Walcot Street institution, but its big, new Frome venue, which opened to much fanfare in November last year, is a real game-changer. Ensconced in a spacious, two-storey Edwardian building right in the centre of town, it’s a bold design vision, big on rustic industrial style with exposed brickwork and a concrete floor, a feature woodburner and tables that look like they’ve been half-inched from an old school science lab. There’s a big, chunky centrepiece communal table that greets you as you walk in, and, upstairs, a casual




bar with flop-into sofas. Jaw-droppingly gorgeous it all looks, too. Turn up for coffee and cake during the day and you’ll find natural light flooding in through its huge windows, with great views of some of the independent boutiques that snake up the quaint cobbles of Catherine Hill. It’s the place to be seen – we’re here on a Saturday night, and it’s absolutely heaving. The dinner menu, mercifully, is short, but stacked with goodies, from squid panzanella to wood-fired pizza, red mullet to charcuterie. It’s a cold sort of night, so ribsticking fare is the way to go. Wife and I kick off with grilled breads – freshly baked, warm and soft – and good young olive oil, all peppery and fruity. I’d happily glug it straight from the bowl if no-one was looking. Then, a little plate of pigeon, pear, walnut and pancetta, salty and sweet in all the right places; and unctuous, judiciously seasoned (that’s a good thing) pig cheeks with lentils, a big hug of a dish that we ever so slightly fight over. The ethos here, as with all good restaurants, is excellent ingredients, cooked well, and that was certainly the case with our mains. Everything comes with a big wallop of flavour: pork belly with beans, almonds and Sicilian tomatoes is a glorious amalgam of taste and texture, the meat falling apart at the merest touch of a fork; and a shin bourguignon with mash is just the sort of warming, deeply delicious comfort food you want when there’s a nip in the air. The wet polenta, squash and dry pesto is a winning combo, too, although I’d have preferred a wetter pesto to moisten the whole shebang a little more; and the cauliflower cheese with wild mushrooms and truffle oil is as gloriously indulgent as it sounds. There’s so much of everything that we end up taking a doggy bag home. Our shirt buttons feel like they’re about to pop, but Wife insists on pud, so we share a banana and chocolate cheesecake, a crowning glory of buttery, fine-crumbed base and light, almost mousse-like topping. Divine. Devotees of Sam’s in Bath will love this place. Just don’t be surprised to find yourself jostling for space with a few of those DFLs...

DINING DETAILS Sam’s Kitchen Deli, 8 Stony Street, Frome BA11 1BU; Tel: 01373 466949, Opening hours Mon-Sat 8am-11pm, Sun 9am-5pm Prices Nibbles from £2.50, starters from £7, mains from £14, wood-fired pizzas from £8, puds £5 Vegetarian choice A few good options Child-friendly? Absolutely – there’s a small kids’ menu Drinks list An impressive, well-chosen selection – great sherries, too Service/atmosphere Super-friendly, quick service; very buzzy Saturday night ambience I BATH LIFE I 59


DINING in BATH Bath Life’s selection of the best places to eat out in Bath and the surrounding area



THE BATH PRIORY Weston Rd, Bath; 01225 331922; Michelin starred fine dining overlooking hotels award-winning gardens

CAFÉ LUCCA 1-2 Bartlett Street, Bath; 01225 335394; Stylish contemporary café situated at The Loft on Bartlett Street offering a Mediterranean inspired menu with barista coffee and sumptuous homemade cakes

THE BEAUFORT 1 Beaufort, London Road, Bath; 01225 422033; Family run restaurant in the heart of Larkhall cooking creative, seasonal food CIRCUS RESTAURANT 34 Brock Street, Bath; 01225 466020; Voted number four in the UK in The Times “20 secret restaurants that foodies love” CLIFTON SAUSAGE 5 Bladud Buildings, Bath; 01225 433633; Upmarket sausage and mash restaurant and bar newly opened in Bath THE DOWER HOUSE, ROYAL CRESCENT HOTEL 16 Royal Crescent, Bath; 01225 823333; AA 3 rosette fine dining at one of Bath’s most iconic locations

GREEN BIRD CAFÉ 11 Margaret's Buildings, Bath; 01225 487846; Independently run cafe located between the Circus & Royal Crescent THE KINGSMEAD KITCHEN 1 Kingsmead St, Kingsmead Square, Bath; 01225 329002; Laid-back, modern cafe-bar open daily from 8am until 6pm for breakfast, brunch, lunch and tea using own farm produce

CALIFORNIAN THE FIREHOUSE ROTISSERIE 2 John St, Bath; 01225 482070; Californian and Tex-Mex dishes, prepared over a wood-fired grill in a rustic setting

serving a modern British menu based on west country produce THE CHEQUERS 50 Rivers St, Bath; 01225 360017; Inventive British food served in a welcoming pub atmosphere close to the Royal Crescent THE CURFEW 11 Cleveland Pl, Bath; 01225 313747 Friendly central pub under new ownership. Bar food with locally sourced ingredients THE GARRICKS HEAD 7-8 St John's Rd, City Centre, Bath; 01225 318368; City centre pub and dining room next to Theatre Royal THE HARE AND HOUNDS Lansdown Rd, Avon, Bath; 01225 482682; Airy, relaxed spot with modern British gastropub menu, extensive wine list and scenic outdoor area


THE LOCKSBROOK INN 103 Locksbrook Rd, Bath; 01225 427119; Recently opened canal side gastropub in Bath, open every day for drinks, brunch, coffee, lunch, evening meals and grazing in between

HENRYS 4 Saville Row, Bath; 01225 780055; Imaginative modern dining offering a classic menu and also full vegetarian and vegan menus

LE BISTROT PIERRE Princes Buildings, 4 George St, Bath; 01225 321840; www. Regional French dishes

THE MARLBOROUGH TAVERN 35 Marlborough Buildings; 01225 423731; Award winning gastropub using seasonal local produce

JOHANN LAFER, THE GAINSBOROUGH Beau St, Bath; 01225 358888; Menus inspired by Johann Lafer’s “Dining Without Borders” philosophy

WOODS 9-13 Alfred St, Bath; 01225 314812; One of Bath’s oldest restaurants serving French influenced British cuisine

THE RICHMOND ARMS 7 Richmond Place, Bath; 01225 316725; Hearty dishes with menu changing on a daily basis

MENU GORDON JONES 2 Wellsway, Bath; 01225 480871; Multi award winning fine dining with constantly changing surprise tasting menu



GPT SMOKEHOUSE 44-45 Lower Bristol Rd, Bath; 01225 429509; “Dude Food” menu cooked with authentic handmade American hot smoker

THE EASTERN EYE 8a Quiet St, Bath; 01225 422323; Classic traditional Bengali cuisine in grand Georgian interior space

KING WILLIAM 36 Thomas St, Bath; 01225 428096; Pub with an upstairs dining room

THE MINT ROOM Longmead Gospel Hall, Lower Bristol Rd, Bath; 01225 446656; Award winning contemporary Indian fine dining

THE OLIVE TREE RESTAURANT, THE QUEENSBERRY HOTEL Russell St, Bath; 01225 447928; One of Bath’s longest established restaurants, overseen by Chris Cleghorn with 3 AA rosettes 60 I BATH LIFE I


ITALIAN MARTINI RESTAURANT 8-9 George St, Bath; 01225 460818; Traditional Italian food served in a cosy atmosphere PONTE VECCHIO Spring Gardens Rd, Bath; 01225 466833; Fantastic central location next to Pulteney Bridge

THE OVEN 21 Westgate St, Bath; 01225 311181; Neapolitan artisan pizza using local and Italian imported produce REAL ITALIAN PIZZA CO 16 York St, Bath; 01225 330121; Family owned pizzeria. Wood fired pizza with fresh authentic ingredients


SOTTO SOTTO 10 N Parade, Bath; 01225 330236; Classic Italian menu with a contemporary twist in candlelit vaulted cellars

THE HERD 12a Argyle St, Bath; 01225 316583; Locally sourced meat of the finest provenance alongside a simple, seasonal menu


HUDSON STEAKHOUSE 14 London St, Bath; 01225 332323; Award winning steakhouse in listed building specialising in prime aged steaks and delicious starters with a fusion twist

DOUGH The Corridor, Bath; 01225 443686; World class pizza from Massimo Nucaro

TAPAS MADRID 5 Chapel Row, Bath; 01225 423417; Bringing a taste of Madrid to Bath – traditional Spanish tapas with a modern twist OLÉ TAPAS 1 John Street, Bath; 01225 466440; Charming, authentic Spanish tapas – one of Bath’s best kept secrets

THAI KOH THAI TAPAS 36 Broad St, Bath; 01225 311232; Award winning small Thai tapas plates and cocktails THAI BY THE WEIR 16 Argyle St, Bath; 01225 444834; Restaurant overlooking the weir, serving a classic Thai menu

OUTSIDE of BATH BRITISH THE FIELD KITCHEN 1 Brook Ln, Holt BA14 6RL; 01225 784081; Serving fresh seasonal dishes within the Glove Factory Studios THE GREENHOUSE RESTAURANT The Pavilion, Wadswick Green, Corsham SN13 9RD; 01225 585880; Smart, stylish and relaxed new dining destination

COUNTRY HOUSE HOTELS LUCKNAM PARK Colerne, Wilts, SN14 8AZ; 01225 742777; Michelin Star fine dining at the renowned Park restaurant and more informal dining at the stylish contemporary brasserie at 5 star country house hotel WIDBROOK GRANGE HOTEL Trowbridge Rd, Bradford-on-Avon

BA15 1UH; 01225 864750; Modern farmhouse cuisine, locally sourced and freshly prepared

GASTROPUBS BIDDESTONE ARMS Biddestone, Wilts SN14 7DG; 01249 714377; Whitewashed country pub with upmarket, robust British fare in a beautiful Cotswold stone village BUNCH OF GRAPES 14 Silver St, Bradford-on-Avon BA15 1JY; 01225 938088; Bar and restaurant inspired by the village bistros of South West France THE LAMB ON THE STRAND 99 The Strand, Semington, Trowbridge BA14 6LL; 01380 870263; Classic British menus and real ales in a family-run pub and restaurant, plus a garden with kids' playground

THE LONGS ARMS Upper South Wraxall, Wilts, BA15 2SB; 01225 864450; Award winning modern British food and cask ales in country inn THE PEAR TREE INN Top Ln, Whitely, Wilts, SN12 8QX; 01225 704966; An elegant revamped country inn with an acclaimed restaurant and contemporary rustic-chic bedrooms THE WHEELWRIGHTS ARMS Church Lane, Monkton Combe, BA2 7HB; 01225 722287; Pub featuring modern takes on British classics, plus understated, individually decorated guestrooms

FARM SHOPS MEADGATE FARM SHOP Weekesley Ln, Timsbury, BA2 0NH; 01761 470089; Shop and café selling local produce I BATH LIFE I 61

Weekday Lunchtime set menu Two courses £16 | Three courses £20

Top Lane, Whitley, Wiltshire SN12 8QX 01225 704966 T f @peartreewhitley

Award Winning, Family Run Farm Shop Established for over 30 years Selling Quality Local Produce Open Daily 9am-6pm 10am-5pm on Sundays



Gift hampers available TEL: 01249 658112

Allington Café


Celebrating British farming, quality and passion Chef created meals from our farm to your plate Signature bakes by our in house pastry chef Barista made hand roasted coffee

We are proud to use quality high end fresh ingredients that we source from our farm or as locally as we can. We don't just serve food, we create it! Tel: 01249 463326 Allington Bar Farm, SN14 6LJ

Decorating School 2017 Classes

10% off your next class when you quote BATHLIFE February

4th, 5th, 11th, 12th PME Royal Icing Professional Diploma 9th Valentine’s Chocolate Truffles Class 22nd Chocolate Wrap Cake 23rd Wired Sugar Flowers Class Evening #1 24th, 25th, 4th, 5th (March) PME Sugar Flowers Professional Diploma

Quality food • Great location • Free delivery

Order your sushi takeaway online and get it delivered* 01225 330508 3 Victoria Buildings, Bath BA2 3EH *minimum order £25


8th Charity Cupcakes Class 9th Wired Sugar Flowers Class Evening #2 11th Chalk Board with Succulents Cake Class 12th Kids Cupcake Decorating 16th Wired Sugar Flowers Class Evening #3 18th, 19th, 25th, 26th PME Sugarpaste Professional Diploma 31st Chocolate Tempering Ribbon Cake


1st Wired Hibiscus Flower 3rd-6th PME Royal Icing Professional Diploma 19th Kids Intro to Modelling 24th-27th PME Sugar Flowers Professional Diploma

Enjoy Valentine's day at Martini Restaurant Book now to reserve your table


8th-11th PME Sugarpaste Professional Diploma


10th, 11th, 17th, 18th PME Royal Icing Professional Diploma


3rd-6th PME Royal Icing Professional Diploma th 8 , 9th, 15th, 16th PME Sugarpaste Professional Diploma

15 Fountain Buildings, Lansdown Mews, Bath, BA1 5DX

01225 446094 •

8/9 George Street, Bath BA1 2EH Tel: 01225 460818

Helen uses her gourmet skills for guilt-free cuisine


ANOTHER FINE MEZZE Authentic Lebanese dishes come to Bath

LIVING LIFE ON THE VEG With half a million people in the UK currently abstaining from all animal products and another half a million considering becoming vegan, it is no wonder Demuth’s current program of vegan cookery classes, which includes gourmet, puddings, and fast food, have been growing in popularity, as lead tutor and chef Helen Lawrence explains, “My training in French cooking is the foundation and building block which I can then work from to develop vegetarian and vegan recipes. “I find that preparing vegan dishes is so creative and inventive, working on getting as much flavour, tastes, textures and colours out of plants. For example, there is an exciting technique called aqua faba, which whips up just like egg white but is made from the water left over from a tin of chickpeas.” For more:

Owner of Comptoir Libanais Tony Kitous

The distinctively stunning and kitschly glamorous Comptoir Libanais has landed in SouthGate, Bath, bringing with it a taste of Lebanon. And owner, Tony Kitous, who opened his first ‘Lebanese counter’ in 2008, is thrilled to be contributing to the city’s growing foodie scene. “We really enjoy Bath, being part of the community and spreading the mezze word to everyone,” says Tony, who spends half his time in Lebanon and is working on a third cookbook. “We have plans to get involved in the local markets, as well as the Bath Christmas market. We also have a special Valentine’s Day menu running 10-17 February.” Tony, who cites his mother as a huge influence, reveals, “I still go into the kitchen, talk with chefs and try new recipes. I don’t have time to cook as much as I used to, but I taste a lot these days.” For more:

Join the Madness! We are a family run tea room located right in the heart of the beautiful city of Bath. Offering cream teas, homemade cakes, snacks, the finest selection of Lavazza coffee and Teapigs. You’d be mad not to visit us!

The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party 5 Orange Grove, Bath BA1 1LP

Near the

01225 466 733 Abbey Bath






New to Rossiters of Bath are the hung and standing Azizi brass frames from Nkuku’s spring/summer collection. Nkuku’, whose aim is to create beautifully handmade home and lifestyle products, work with artisans all over the world, combining timeless design with traditional skills and natural, ethically sourced materials. Whether it’s the makers distinctive style, the character of the piece, or the inspiration behinds its origin, there’s always more about the pieces than meets the eye – every product has a story. The elegant antique frames – into which you can artfully insert photos, dried flowers or keepsakes – are embossed with pretty, traditional details, and each one has been hand-forged using old-age techniques. From £17.95, available at Rossiters of Bath; 38-41 Broad Street, Bath; I BATH LIFE I 69

2 1










Cheese Loveboard, £29 Complete with cheddar and Neufchâtel hearts along with Miller’s Elements Fire crackers, and Boero cherries, this set is pretty hard to resist From The Fine Cheese Co., 29 & 31 Walcot Street, Bath;

Token necklace, £65 Part of a newly launched collection, this engraved pendant is inspired by coins – etched with lovers’ initials – given by sweethearts in the Victorian era From Fabulous, 17 St Lawrence Street, Bath; www.fabulouscollections.

Scripture rings, £65 each Designed by Bradford on Avon-based company Reeves and Reeves, these rings are embossed with affectionate words such as ‘love, ‘adore’ and ‘inspire’ From Jody Cory Goldsmiths, 9 Abbey Churchyard, Bath;

Framed 3D artwork, £60 Designed by Bath artist Amanda Brown, 3D folded heavy-weight paper butterflies are arranged in the shape of a heart in this artwork – a real stand-out piece From Flamingo, 7 Widcombe Parade, Bath;

Slogan mug, £14 Hand-decorated in England, this Susan O’Hanlon bone china mug’s witty phrase will make him smile while he’s enjoying his favourite brew From Kilver Court Designer Village, Kilver Street, Shepton Mallet;














Valentine scarf, £65 Artist Carole Waller has created signed, original scarves especially for Valentine’s Day. Each one is unique as they are handpainted onto silk twill From One Two Five Gallery, 4 Abbey Green, Bath;

L.T.Piver Cuir Eau de Toilette, £58 Surrender yourself to this deep, sensual fragrance for men and women which, created in the 19th century, has been reimagined for the modern day From Grace & Mabel, 7 Broad Street, Bath;

Monkey 47 Gin, 50cl, £42.95 Using 47 different botanicals, this unusual, ultra-premium dry gin from the Black Forest in Germany is flavoured with lingonberries and cranberries From Independent Spirit of Bath, 7 Terrace Walk, Bath; www.independentspiritofbath.

Chocolate handbag, £37 From the confectioner which has chosen Bath as the venue for its first ever shop outside of France, comes this hollow chocolate handbag, filled with goodies From Maison Georges Larnicol, 13-14 Upper Borough Walls, Bath;

Cowshed Bullocks Set for men, £19 Not sure which pampering products to buy him? Grab an introduction to them all with an ever so handy travel-sized set From Rossiters of Bath, 38-41 Broad Street, Bath; I BATH LIFE LIFE II 71 I CLIFTON 69

Independent woman

We catch up with Silvana de Soissons, a true champion of independent businesses in Bath, who allows us to snoop around her shop and tearoom, The Foodie Bugle... By L I SA E VA NS Photo g raphy by Jason I ngr a m


tep inside The Foodie Bugle shop and tearoom and discover artisan food and drink, as well as simple, useful homewares, both old and new. Here we speak with the owner of the businesses, Silvana de Soissons, about her passion for other independent shops, her recent relocation to Abbey Street and why creative workshops and courses are a big focus for 2017... For those who may not have visited your shop yet, please describe it… The Foodie Bugle is an artisan food, drink and homewares shop with a tearoom, in a great location in Bath. What’s the story and background behind the business’s beginnings? We started The Foodie Bugle as an online blog, writing about food, drink and crafts and then we launched two print editions. These were followed up by an online shop, a pop-up shop and then a bricks-and-mortar shop in Margaret’s Buildings, Bath. We moved to our current premises in Abbey Street in October last year. It’s a great spot, and I live about 10 minutes away, near the Assembly Rooms, so it is a very beautiful commute. 72 I BATH LIFE I

What first made you so passionate about food and interiors? I come from a long line of foodies and have worked as a cook, caterer, cookery teacher and food writer. It was just a natural progression. For a brief period, after I graduated from the University of Bath, I worked in London, but I hated every minute of it and only looked forward to taking clients out for lunch. After that I had my daughter, Mariella, and I soon started my career in food – cooking professionally and writing about food for a number of magazines. What makes your business unique? There is no other business in Bath that combines what we do – you can have tea, coffee, cake and wine in the middle of the shop, looking out at everything from confectionery and cordials to candles and vintage kitchenalia. We have tried to make our shop as homely as possible – the building forms part of a 1750 Landmark Trust House, called Elton House, which was once the home of Jacob Elton, the sheriff and Mayor of Bristol. The ground floor was then turned into a shop for a bootmaker, then Philippa Savery, the antique dealer, purchased the building and lived in the cottage at the back.

Clockwise, from top left: Silvana outside her shop on Abbey Street; beautifully decorated scones, biscuits and cakes

Being a


independent business in a city filled with chain stores is a bit like David fighting



Clockwise, from top left: The Foodie Bugle’s bright, fresh interior; shop ‘til you drop, then indulge in coffees and sweet treats; beautiful, traditional crockery; bundles of mismatched vintage silver cutlery


What challenges do you face in business? It’s quite hard being a woman in business because you face prejudices from men who don’t like dealing with women or who try to fob you off with poor-quality work. Doing the shop fit-out and managing a team of tradesmen is not simple. You have to hold your nerve and keep your standards high. I am lucky that, now I am older, there are many more successful role models in business. What’s your greatest achievement? Setting up my own business is a huge achievement – opening a shop is no mean feat, especially during a recession. Being a small, independent business in a city filled with chain stores is a bit like David fighting Goliath.

Ten of Silvana’s favourite independent businesses in Bath Found, Argyle Street Grace & Mabel, Broad Street Spotty Herberts, Queen Street Mr. B’s Emporium of Reading Delights, John Street Wool Bath, Old Orchard Street Independent Spirit of Bath, Terrace Walk Magalleria, Broad Street George Bayntun, Manvers Street Acorn Vegetarian Kitchen, North Parade Passage Number Three Hairdressing, Bartlett Street

What’s new with you for 2017? A series of workshops at my shop, which anyone can sign up to, in collaboration with fabulously talented individuals. On 5 June we are hosting a Photography Trail Day in Bath with multiaward winning photographer Jason Ingram. We’ll walk around the city shooting its most famous landmarks like a professional magazine photographer. We also have floristry and arts and crafts courses coming up. What makes Bath’s indies so special? This micro economy is so important to Bath; the city is bustling with skilled private entrepreneurs who work around the clock to make the visitor experience so special and authentic. I give all the tourists who come into my shop my recommendations on where to shop. I advise them to visit indie areas such as Walcot Street, London Road, Broad Street, Bartlett Street, Green Street and Green Park Station. On 30 March myself and Visit Bath are hosting an Independent Bath Trail Day to celebrate the wonderful small businesses that make our city special and unique.

Which Bath business women do you admire? Lucy Simon who owns Article Bath, Fiona Pollard who organises heritage events in the city, Rachel Demuth of Demuths Cookery School, Kate Smith of The Makery, Melanie Giles who now has three hair salons, Jane Campbell-Howard who co-owns Society Café, Arianna Brissi and Siobhan McKeating who own Brissi… the list is so long! I am always inspired by Bath women entrepreneurs – they are strong, unique and hard-working. How do you spend your time when you’re not at work? I love collecting old linens, vintage housewares and antique furniture – I can often be found rummaging in junk shops, car boot sales, charity shops and house clearances. I am proud to possess very little that is new – ‘recycle’, ‘reuse’ and ‘re-love’ are my three favourite words. The Foodie Bugle Shop, 2 Abbey Street, Bath, BA1 1NN; I BATH LIFE I 73


LEGENDS OF WALCOT STREET Walcot Street’s independent traders share their fascinating secrets about the artisan quarter – from uncovering an “original Banksy” to meeting its world-famous residents… By L I SA E VA NS Photo g raphy by C h r i s Daw


STREET LIFE a one-off payment basis. As the scheme was never completed, a loophole meant that those traders were, thankfully, able to keep their buildings.



Above: The ‘Welcome to Walcot’ mural, created by highly acclaimed artist Inkie; inset: the day after we photographed the mural, it was sadly painted over due to planning restrictions; below: one of 30 faces hand-carved from Bath Stone on the Great Wall of Walcot; opposite page: the framed street canvas which is continually changing with new artists’ work, bringing colour to the street









alcot Street is known for its vibrant mix of passionate independent traders who have carved out eclectic niches in the city – just take American Dream Comics, Bath Aqua Glass, and The Yellow Shop as examples of its diversity – but all is not as it seems. Although the majority of the businesses are small and local at their heart, they are making waves around the world. Take The Fine Cheese Co. as an example, they supply 800 shops and businesses and export to more than 50 countries; and Minuteman Press ships as far as the Middle East. Not only is the collective success of the businesses something to be astounded by, but the street itself – which is packed with creative outdoor art, “original Banksys”, apparently, as well being home to the Great Wall of Walcot on which you’ll find caricatures of traders’ faces carved from stone – is a treasure trove in itself…

One name: Banksy. As you’ll read on, you’ll see that several of Walcot Street’s traders utter the title of the world’s most famous vandal. One business owner claims that the elusive artist honed his skills in her shop’s still-graffitied basement, and another says there’s an original Banksy hidden in a crevice on the street. Street art by prolific artists is prevalent in this part of town, and, at the time of writing, two giant, colourful murals dominate the street, as Jenny Pollitt, treasurer of Walcot Street Traders’ Association explains. “The idea to use the large wall space between Harvey Jones Kitchens and Melanie Giles Hairdressing came from Bath Fringe,” she says. “Local artist Stanley Donwood (famous for his designs for the band Radiohead), came up with a monochrome design to feature in the space. Depictions of cyclists were then added to the mural by another local artist, Simon Spilsbury, last September to coincide with the Tour of Britain.” Then, during the organisation of the first ever Walcot Winterfest last Christmas, it was decided that the artwork would be painted over by wellknown street artist, Paris (his work is pictured on the opposite page), and a separate ‘Welcome to Walcot’ mural was painted on another wall by the highly acclaimed artists Inkie and Cheba. But, sadly, just a day after our photographer snapped this colourful creation (pictured left), it was covered up with white paint. This, explains Jenny – who is also the director of Bath’s Lane House Arts – was because the mural was painted on a listed building without planning consent. “It’s such a shame it’s gone,” says Jenny. “I do wonder what would the council have done if it was Banksy and not an Inkie. We would love to have kept the mural, but working with traders, residents and the w


It’s famous for its bohemian atmosphere and independent businesses and has been dubbed ‘Bath’s Artisan Quarter’ for many years. Martin Tracy, owner of The Framing Workshop, claims he has the answer to why the street has remained so fiercely indie. “It goes back, in part, to the planned the demolition of Walcot Street in the 1960s to make way for a tunnel to ease traffic,” he says. “The start of the demolition led to what we now see occupied by Waitrose and the Hilton Hotel; this was to have continued the full length of Walcot Street. Whilst this was going on, traders were allowed to occupy empty shops on I BATH LIFE I 77

STREET LIFE local community, we will come up with new plans and designs to regenerate Walcot and make it the destination it so deserves to be.” A former regeneration plan to increase footfall in the area gave birth to the Great Wall of Walcot which is studded with over 30 comic, realistic and mythical faces hand-carved from Bath stone. The original faces are down to a stonemason named Paul Rogers who installed them over 30 years ago, but new faces were added four years ago as part of an art project to encourage visitors to the area. Each face was specifically commissioned to reflect individual businesses or business owners on the street and were crafted by Pete Bloomfield who worked for the original stonemason, Paul.


One of the most recent home interior shops to join the street is the stylish Graham & Green who moved their headquarters from London to Bath at the end of last year. Founded in the 1970s in Notting Hill, the boutique emporium is still synonymous with diverse West London style and is filled with eclectic finds. Likewise, Avenida Home, owned by mother and son Isabel Saiz and Luis Lalor, specialises in myriad quirky, unexpected home accessories, although in this shop, they are exclusively for kitchens and dining rooms. “Avenida means ‘avenue’ in Spanish, a word filled with connotations of discovery,” says Isabel who has just returned from previewing at Maison & Objet in Paris. “We have an impressive list of

retailers, from Liberty of London, Le Bon Marché in Paris, and Isetan in Japan.” Michelle Aitken and Jacqui Edmiston, who own Verve – based in Walcot Buildings on London Road which is an extension of Walcot Street – pride themselves on not only showcasing an Aladdin’s cave of pieces for the home – from furniture to artwork – but on offering creative classes and styling services. Also in the eclectic mix of homeware stores are the flooring experts at Capitol Carpets and Haliden Oriental Carpets; real-wood craftspeople at Broadleaf Timber; and Nordic furniture and accessories specialists at Shannon.


Katherine Fraser designs and hand-weaves bespoke textiles, from Merino lambswool stoles, to silk cushion covers, on her traditional loom in her eponymous store. “We always find it quite comical when people think that the loom is just for display – even when I’m sat at it, weaving away,” she says. “Walcot Street suits our ethos and style perfectly. I love my neighbours The Fig Store, and Paul at Material Hair Salon is brilliant. It’s great to see a retail street in Bath thrive when unfortunately so many other areas of the city are struggling.” And thrive they do. The Framing Workshop, for example, has been run by Martin and Julia Tracy since 1989, and they are now in the process of handing it over to another couple, who between them have decades’ worth of experience within the workshop, so that the business can hopefully flourish for another 28 years. Martin first opened w 78 I BATH LIFE I

Above: Michelle Aitken, co-owner of eclectic interiors store Verve; left: Katherine Fraser hand-weaving on her traditional loom at her eponymous shop




Come and meet Walcot Street’s only Master Colour Expert Louise tailors brand new exciting colour techniques, mixes and styles to create looks that complement your lifestyle, fashion choices, features and skin tones. Consultations don’t cost a thing – book time for a chat with Louise today. / 01225 311808 / 47 Walcot Street





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STREET LIFE Left: The Fine Cheese Co. is stocked to the brim with specialist, artisan products directly imported from around Europe








the shop following a military career spanning 20 years; he turned his hobby into his job, and since then the workshop has been chosen by Mary Portas as one of four Champions of the High Street, and has won 16 National Industry Awards, culminating in Martin winning a Lifetime Achievement Award. Minuteman Press Bath are also proud of their accomplishments since opening in 1998. Owner David Ghent began the business with nothing but a couple of copiers and a two-colour press but, now, the design and commercial print company boasts a team of 15 in a Tardis-like shop the size of “half a football pitch”, catering for international clients – for whom they ship as far as the Middle East –as well as, of course, locals.


The local branch of one of the largest and oldest youth charities in the world – the YMCA – is nestled between Walcot Street and Broad Street. The not-for-profit social enterprise offers a popular fitness centre which has a dual purpose. “Becoming a member means you’re not only joining a brilliant centre with up-to-date kit and amazing classes, your membership is supporting our charitable work,” says CEO Mike Fairbeard. “You’re getting fitter and your membership may be providing a vulnerable young person with a bed for the night.”

BE ASTOUNDED… Designer-weaver Katherine Fraser, owner of Katherine Fraser “There’s a huge basement in our building. Apparently Banksy started off down there with a few other artists. We still have graffiti painted on the walls.”

Ann-Marie Dyas, owner of The Fine Cheese Co. “We supply over 800 shops and businesses in the UK, including Harrods and British Airways; we also export to more than 50 countries, but the heartbeat of our business is still very much in Walcot Street.”

Ian Pittman, soon-to-be co-owner of The Framing Workshop “The smallest item we’ve framed was a grain of rice with a drawing on it – we framed it with a magnifying lens so it could be seen clearly – and the strangest was a mummified rat found by a customer who was renovating her house.”

Csaba Ignanzy, general manager of Aqua Italia restaurant “Our building is an old Methodist church; it still retains most of its original features. We have regulars who used to attend Sunday school here. It was also a ballet studio; the old dance mistress comes in from time to time.”

They will have only been open for two weeks by the time this issue of Bath Life hits the shelves, but Didi Cakes is already making a sweet impression on the street. The married owners, John and Daniella Murray, have a colourful background; John is a Roux scholar and has worked around the world, and Daniella grew up in Los Angeles where her father owned “a very famous restaurant, Guido’s, in Santa Monica, which was frequented by Hollywood royalty”. The couple owned a company in Australia for 20 years that produced desserts and pastries and supplied some of the most well-known companies in Sydney, but last year they decided it was time to come back to Europe. “It was love at first sight with Bath,” says Daniella. “This Street is our favourite part of town – quirky, artsy and exactly where we thought we would fit in. We’re glad Sam’s Kitchen Deli and Made by Ben are our neighbours as we are foodies and love to celebrate handmade products.” From sweet to savoury, now, and The Fine Cheese Co. are experts in artisan cheese which they collect from farms in the UK or import directly from the likes of France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and Holland. They’ve been on Walcot Street for 25 years and owner Ann-Marie Dyas knows the industry inside out. “I was born in a shop (well, almost),” she says. “I was in the pram when my mother used to help my grandmother in her grocery store in South Wales. It was the early 1950s and I have so many memories of this time, like my mother cutting and wrapping butter from a slab, and serving loose biscuits from a tin. It was destiny to start my own food business.” Hard-to-find goods are the street’s mainstay – Harvest Natural Foods, for example, which has been running since 1971, is a champion of the more specialist product, including vegan wholefoods and cruelty-free makeup. And as Philip Nash at Farpoint Developments neatly sums up, “If you’re after anything quirky or niche then there’s a good chance it could be found on Walcot Street.” Lyle Finlay, managing director of John’s Bikes “Tears for Fears member Roland Orzabal used to live on the street; there’s an early Banksy hidden in the corridor between two cultural buildings (if you have to ask where it is, you’ll never know); and we still have a member of The Korgis band living here. Philip Nash at Farpoint Developments “My favourite shop is Meticulous Ink. I studied and was enthralled by design, in particular letterpress, from an early age and the great work that they’re doing to keep the medium alive is astounding.” I BATH LIFE I 81


Westonbirt’s mission is to provide an inclusive and inspiration learning environment

Bath College focuses on collaboration and innovation


Eleven of Bath’s best schools share their approach to helping students reach their full potential in later life By SA R A H MOOL L A Hayesfield encourages independence of thought and intellectual curiosity Downside aims to develop future leaders for the 21st century society




inging in assembly, learning those pesky French verbs, the square root of 121* and calculating surface areas. Sometimes when you’re a student in the thick of it, it can be difficult to see just how these things apply to real life. However, long after the bell has gone and we’ve bolted and jostled out of the gates and made our way to the big wide world, we can start to see the sense in what we were taught at school; team spirit, ways to communicate, computing distances and how to measure up for that new living room carpet. School is also a place where, along with absorbing a wide range of knowledge imparted by experts in their field, connections are made beyond the family, social skills are developed and emotional literacy is explored. We looked at 11 schools in the area and asked them to share their ethos, principles and dedication to helping prepare their students for life beyond the classroom.


Background: The Bath City Science, Art and Technical Schools opened its doors in September 1982. More recently, it merged with Norton Radstock College to become Bath College. This year it won RHS Chelsea Floristry College of the Year. Number of pupils: Nearly 2,000 16 to 18-yearolds on full-time vocational courses, plus many more part-time and Love2learn students. Principal Laurel Penrose says: “We are an enterprising community college which focuses on collaboration and innovation. We have strong links with the business community and we celebrate the world of work and professional and technical education. We see education as an aspirational driver, as a bridge to future careers and as a facilitator for those in work to improve their place in it. We work with new and emerging talent to prepare students to excel and meet the needs of employers. Our purpose is to actively contribute to developing the careers of individuals. The work we do is about improving life chances.”


Background: Established in 1614, Downside is Britain’s oldest and most distinguished Catholic school, run by a community of Benedictine Monks. It became co-educational in 2005 and still operates as one of the few full boarding schools in the UK, with pupils resident seven days a week. Last year it was ranked Top Performing Academic School in Somerset and Dorset by the Department of Education. Number of pupils: 368, of which 293 are boarders. Headmaster Dr James Whitehead says: “Benedictine education is unique; with Christ

The provision of a high quality curriculum from Ralph Allen is at the heart of everything they do

at its centre, it aims to educate young people to develop as future leaders for 21st century society, with a full understanding of the responsibility that comes with leadership, the confidence to go anywhere and a willingness to serve society.”


Background: The first school to occupy the Upper Oldfield Park site was Bath City Secondary School for Girls in 1922. Hayesfield School was formed in 1973 when West Twerton Secondary Modern School and City of Bath Girls’ Grammar School were merged. The school’s English results are in the top four per cent of schools nationally for progress measures. Number of pupils: 1,175 students, 246 of which are in the mixed sixth form. Headteacher Emma Yates says: “Our curriculum offers students a range of stimulating opportunities, which develop good habits of learning, independence of thought and intellectual curiosity. We believe that happy, healthy and resilient girls do well in exams and in life. We have a house system, which allows students to be elected as representatives for sports, the school council and for their tutor group. Along with the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme, we also take part in World Challenge. It is these types of activities that help our students to develop their personal responsibility, leadership and self-discipline skills, which prepare them for life beyond school.”


Background: KES was founded by Royal Charter in 1552 and is Bath’s only independent school exclusively for day pupils, providing co-education for pupils aged three to 18 years. As well as being rated ‘Outstanding’ in all categories, The Sunday Times recently ranked the school as one of the top four independent schools in the South West. Number of pupils: 1,027 students from nursery to sixth form. Headmaster Martin Boden says: “Whilst we are very proud of examination results that consistently rank King Edward’s amongst the highest performing schools in the South West of England, we also understand that academic excellence is only one ingredient in the recipe for happiness and future success. Children thrive most when they are given the opportunities and support to find their voice and to express themselves, be that through sport, music, drama, debating or outdoor pursuits for example. The clubs and societies help our pupils grow into confident, engaging and well-rounded young men and women, who are ready to throw themselves into all the joys and challenges life has to offer.”


Background: Monkton Combe was founded in January 1868 by Reverend Francis Pocock, adding a junior school in 1888 and a pre-prep in 1937. It lists its core values as confidence, integrity, humility and service and has illustrious alumni that includes a Nobel Prize winner, an Olympic athlete and a former w I BATH LIFE I 85


head of MI6. Number of pupils: 714 pupils aged two to 18, including 259 boarders. Principal Chris Wheeler says: “Visitors to the school, from pre-prep through to senior, often comment that they are impressed by how confident, yet not arrogant, and lovely our pupils are. The standards we are setting at school enable our pupils, not only to thrive and be challenged academically but also to grow as individuals with a confidence and strength of character, as well as a well-developed moral compass with which to guide them through life. We believe their exam success over the past few years is testimony to our pastorally-led curriculum and our focus on developing every child as an individual.”


Background: Bishop Baines bought Prior Park, the former home of the entrepreneur and philanthropist, Ralph Allen, in 1829 to establish a seminary and a school for boys. The school came under lay management in 1980, and became co-educational in 1982. It is rated ‘Outstanding’, and has been listed as one of the most beautiful boarding schools in the UK by the Oxford Royale Academy. Number of pupils: 602 students, one third of which board. Headmaster James Murphy-O’Connor says: “Our all-round education encourages students to become who they want to be, to develop, as fully as possible, the academic and other talents of each boy and girl, and enable leavers to be confident, capable, compassionate and independent-minded. If you strive for the highest standards in all you do, then such standards breed a pride in the school and develop within the student an inner discipline

Above: Teaching children to articulate their feelings and to think critically is part of St Margaret’s Prep’s educational approach; below, left: Stonar believes their pupils leave as truly rounded individuals

and respect that they will take with them throughout their life. I am confident that our leavers go into the world and make a positive imprint on their friends, families and all those they encounter.”


Background: A non-denominational school for 11 to 18 year olds established in 1958 becoming an academy in 2012. The school’s most recent Ofsted comments, ‘The most notable strengths of teaching include secure subject knowledge, excellent working relationships with students, well-planned lessons that make use of stimulating resources and questioning that is used to check and develop understanding. As a result, students invariably respond well, displaying confidence and maturity’. Number of pupils: 1,149, including 225 in the sixth form. School manager Caroline Holden says: “The school works closely with partners, including the Dyson Foundation, the University of Bath, local schools and business and health service providers, to improve outcomes for all our students and for the wider community. Our extensive extra-curricular activities such as Model United Nations, creative writing, robotics, and fitness training, combine with the school curriculum to offer our students a wide range of opportunities. The provision of a high quality curriculum for our students is at the very heart of everything we do.”



Background: Founded in 1865, The Royal School for the Daughters of Officers of the Army opened as a full boarding school, with Queen Victoria as one of its patrons, and is now the only all-girls independent school in Bath. Last year, 98 per cent of students gained a place at their chosen university, and this year the school is celebrating seven offers from Oxbridge. Number of pupils: 650 girls from nursery to Year 13, with 110 of these in boarding from Year seven to 13. Head Jo Duncan says: “At RHS, we equip our students with confidence, resilience and skills for life, helping them to achieve personal growth as well as academic and future career success. This is achieved through our girl-centred ethos, academic offer, extracurricular activities, our dual sixth form pathway and superb teaching and support. We are constantly evolving and embracing new thinking to help girls meet the challenges of the 21st century. As a member of the Girls’ Day School Trust – the leader in girls’ education – our students are part of a powerful support network of over 20,000 current students, with over 75,000 alumnae.”


Background: St Margaret’s was originally set up as the girls-only junior department of St Mary’s, Calne, in 1873 by Canon John Duncan. Today the school has a diverse range of achievements, which have been celebrated


in the following ways: Naace ICT Mark Accreditation, Eco Schools Green Flag Award, Sing Up Platinum Award, Wiltshire Choir of the Year 2016, Youth Sport Trust Gold Quality Mark. Number of pupils: 200 boys and girls. Headmistress Karen Cordon says: “Children must be stretched and intellectually stimulated. They should be taught to articulate their feelings, to write, to read, to develop and defend an idea and to think critically. But what is the purpose of the best academic education, if it fails to prepare them for life? At St Margaret’s we place great emphasis on developing the child as a whole. Through the extra-curricular schedule, which runs alongside the learning programme, children are encouraged to take on new challenges as a means to helping build their confidence. The value of teamwork, compromise, resilience and taking pride in both their own and others’ achievements will undoubtedly assist them as they make their way towards adulthood.”






Background: Stonar was established in Sandwich, Kent in 1895 and moved to its current location of the 80-acre Cottles Park estate. The school was acquired by the international education group NACE in 2013. From 2011, boys were admitted into the prep school and, as of last year, the senior school is to become fully co-educational. The recent Tatler School Guide comments, “Academically pupils thrive, thanks to the small class sizes and excellent pastoral care”, and the school is consistently in the top 10 per cent of all British independent schools for value-added results at GCSE. Number of pupils: 325, with 50 per cent of Left: Prior Park’s ethos encourages confident, capable, compassionate and independent-minded school-leavers above: The clubs on offer at King Edward’s School help students explore the challenges life has to offer

senior school pupils boarding. Head Dr Sally Divall says: “One of the most important facets of a first-class independent education is that it provides young adults with the confidence and ability to excel in whatever they strive to do. Life beyond and within school is not simply about academic achievement. Pupils leave Stonar as truly rounded individuals, whether they go on to become doctors, performers, sculptors, riders, solicitors, engineers, artists or entrepreneurs.”


Background: Westonbirt has been a boarding school since 1928, is in the top five per cent of schools in the UK for value added and, in 2016, pupils achieved 100 per cent A*-A Grades at A Level in French, Spanish and geography and 100 per cent A*- B at A level music.

Number of pupils: 220. Marketing director Lucy Brook says: “Our mission is to provide an inclusive and inspirational learning environment to support the development of each individual intellectually, emotionally and morally. The focus is on preparing students to compete as curious, creative and courageous individuals in whatever field they choose beyond education. We have implemented a robust Skills for Life programme designed to complement academic success and prepare young women for the challenges facing them in a global society. The programme explores the diversity of the workplace, promotes career achievement and offers practical and financial training for life beyond school.”

*The answer is 11, but you knew that didn’t you? I BATH LIFE I 87

ad v e r tising feat u r e E D U C AT I O N

Small School Wins Big Award Calder House, a specialist school for children with dyslexia and other specific learning difficulties, has won a major national accolade at the TES Independent School of the Year Awards


ocated between Bath and Chippenham, the school has been declared the overall winner of the TES Award for Special Needs Initiative of the Year. The award was presented in recognition of Calder House’s pioneering work identifying the links between weak working memory and children’s difficulties in reading, creative writing and learning within a classroom environment and its success in helping its own pupils overcome these difficulties. Not bad going for a school that never takes more than 48 children – it all goes to show that sometimes the best things really do come in small packages! Presenting the award at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel, the judging panel said Calder House represented “a superb example of setting the bar high for pupils”. “I am absolutely delighted that the amazing work of our Director of Studies, Ian Perks, and our remarkable team has been recognised in this way,” comments headteacher, Karen Parsons. “This award reflects his longstanding dedication and determination to ensure that no child is allowed to fail and the remarkable support for our pupils that our staff bring to every lesson, every day”. Established in 1995, Calder House offers a nurturing environment in which children are encouraged to enjoy school while developing the skills they need to successfully return to mainstream education. Every single one of the school’s 48 pupils follows their own

Headteacher Karen Parsons shows Lara and Archie, Calder House’s Head Boy and Head Girl, the TES Award presented to the school

As well as helping pupils realise their academic potential, Calder House also aims to restore their selfconfidence and appetite for learning

“We help our pupils to succeed through a carefully structured programme of one-to-one support” timetable designed around their personal strengths and weaknesses. The school follows the normal National Curriculum but lessons also include specialist classes on “subskills” designed to address the difficulties that have prevented pupils from achieving their potential. These can include speech and language lessons as well as lessons on visual discrimination, fine and gross motor skills, auditory memory and sequencing. Moreover, the school gets results: the vast majority of pupils successfully return to mainstream education after fewer than three years at Calder House. Calder House has been rated as “outstanding” in all areas by Ofsted since 2011 and the Good Schools Guide praises its “amazing success” in taking children who were previously struggling and equipping them with the skills they need to return to mainstream education.

A typical pupil at Calder House ● arrives with a very low reading age or one that is more than two years behind their chronological age ● spends just over two years at Calder House ● returns to mainstream with a reading age appropriate for their chronological age or (in the case of one in three pupils) an adult reading age

Thickwood Lane, Colerne, Wiltshire SN14 8BN 01225 743566; I BATH LIFE I 89

a d v e r tisi n g feat u r e E D U C AT I O N

every child a star pupil st margaret's preparatory school is dedicated to doing the best for your child, as well as making sure their school days are still the best days of their life


xam stress on primary-aged children has been the subject of much debate nationally. Against this backdrop, Karen Cordon, headmistress of St Margaret’s Preparatory School, Calne, explains how she prepares both pupils and parents for success in the Year 6 Common Entrance and 11+ examinations, and how the school retains its enviable 100 percent record. "If I have one piece of advice for both children and parents it is to trust us. It is all about finding the right school for the right child and believing that I, and the staff here, will offer sound advice based on our knowledge of both the children and the senior schools concerned. The process of preparing children for their senior school entrance exams starts in earnest about 18 months in advance. Our current Year 6 children have literally just completed their exams and interviews and are eagerly awaiting the results. We are currently working with our Year 5 children and the staff and I are having meetings with individual parents in which we endeavour to manage expectations and aspirations in all directions. We are always considering the best ways to support children both inside and outside the classroom. A few years ago we introduced yoga sessions for all our Year 6 pupils as an aid to relaxation. It has become very popular and helps them learn techniques to clear the mind and how to manage anxiety. But the best way for them to be prepared is to practise exam technique and also to familiarise themselves with practice papers so that they know what they are going to be faced with and will not panic when the real examinations are put in front of them. As a school, we are

very much against spoon-feeding children information to pass exams. The process of learning how to access, retain and share information as appropriate is vital, and is ultimately the method by which children learn and progress. We recommend that children only sit the entrance examination for one school. This does mean there is no fallback position, but making pupils sit several entrance exams, aged 10 or 11, simply adds to the pressure. We are proud to have a 100 percent success rate of children getting into their chosen schools, despite us not being highly selective. The correct choice of school is one where a child will flourish and not simply survive. It should never be about survival, what parent would want that for their child? We want them to thrive and be happy at their new school and we can reassure parents by offering certainty around the examination process; this takes away some of the pressure for them and their children. We also know what individual schools expect for the interview part of the entrance examination and we find time to rehearse these skills beforehand, so that the children are confident and at ease when expressing their views. However, we do not want our children to be coached – schools are looking for spontaneity and originality. This sort of practice will stand them in good stead for later

life. Learning how to handle interviews is a life skill that will remain with them when they are applying for university or future employment. Some of our children are very academic, whilst others have talents in sport or music. They are all different and that’s what makes them special. We want all our pupils to reach their potential and everyone who leaves St Margaret’s at the end of Year 6 will undoubtedly go on to the best school for them. But what I always say to every parent is, ‘We know your child, trust us’." St Margaret’s is having an open morning for prospective parents on 9 March. Please register online at or contact Mrs Simone Hughes on 01249 857379.

St Margaret’s Preparatory School Curzon Street, Calne, Wiltshire SN11 0DF 01249 857220 I BATH LIFE I 91


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ad v ertising feature E D U C AT I O N


Changes in the examination process mean testing times ahead for students, but the A level, IB, and GCSE Easter courses from Bath Tutorial College at Bath Spa University, can really help


op grades at A level, IB, and GCSE always demand the very best exam performance, and students taking A levels this summer will face the biggest educational challenge for a generation. New-style A levels bring everything down to one set of exams. For nearly 20 years, school teachers and students have grown used to the idea of gaining qualifications in steps – AS exams one summer, then a chance to improve at AS while adding A2 exams in the final summer to gain full A level qualifications. Now A level exams are, once again, to be taken in one sitting at the end of the course. Good A level grades ensure access to the best universities, and more demanding A level exams have been introduced at a time when it has become harder to access the most prized university places, with increased competition for Oxford and Cambridge, Russell Group and other top universities – such as Bath, Bristol, Durham and LSE. For GCSE students, the summer brings a first major public exam challenge and getting it right in the exam room is more important than ever, with fewer coursework options to boost grades. Good GCSE grades are the gateway to the widest choice of subjects at A level or IB, and are also important for admission to higher education, increasing the chance of an offer to study on the best courses at top universities. While schools do all they can to prepare pupils for exams, many young people find themselves feeling they need more support. So, with these new challenges in mind, Bath Tutorial College brings A level, GCSE, and IB Revision Courses to Bath Spa University this Easter at this vital time.

An intensive course can spell exam success

“The wisest candidates enter the exam room knowing they are set to succeed” Bath Tutorial College courses are designed to address student concerns, boost confidence and thus improve grades. We also aim to build on all the groundwork students have completed at school and offer a course with a strong emphasis on converting knowledge into exam success. Students can attend group-based study for a week or two weeks. Groups are small – typically about five or six students – allowing for close interaction with tutors, and the teaching day involves over six hours of contact time. Group-based courses last for a week per subject in the A level and the IB, while GCSE students can study two subjects in one week. Individual tuition is also available throughout March and April. Students can come for as long as they want and for as little as one day for any subject they like. Students are revising with us from mid-March to the very end of April because of variation in school holidays this year.

The wisest candidates enter the exam room knowing they are set to succeed. On a Bath Tutorial College Easter Course, we will give you a clear view of what the exam room demands and set you on the path to greater success. Please contact us or visit our website to find out more.

Andy Thompson MA (Cantab), Academic Director Bath Tutorial College 01225 313076; I BATH LIFE I 93

Successful, well-established year-round language school in the centre of Bath requires

HOMESTAY HOSTS IN BATH to host both short-term and long-term students. We teach adults and teenagers, and need both single and twin-room accommodation. For further details, including rates of payment, please contact our Accommodation Manager: Sarah Wringer, KIE Bath, 5 Trim Street, Bath, BA1 1HB Direct Line (01225) 473502, Email:



Six years ago Roger came up with designs for a better shopping experience



COURTING BUSINESS Mulberry brand founder Roger Saul reveals his plans to expand Kilver Court Roger Saul, who created the Mulberry brand in the 1970s and took it to global success with three Queen’s Awards for Export, has revealed his ambitious plans for his designer shopping village, Kilver Court. A total of £8million will be invested over the next four years to dramatically increase the existing space – meaning more shops and restaurants. Four development phases will extend the existing 28,000 square foot of retail, office and event space to 78,000 square feet, with a total of 45 shops and restaurants. Phase one will see the restoration of The

Kilver Court has plans to expand

Ship, which is the birthplace of the sparkling perry Babycham, and phase two will introduce The Flagship adjacent to the Mulberry Factory Shop. Both sites total 10,000 square foot and will accommodate up to eight new retailers. Kilver Court Designer Village, which opened in 2011, was intended as a uniquely edited designer outlet village, as Roger explains, “We launched at a time when one in four shops in market towns throughout the country were closing and general retail was suffering due to increasing popularity of online shopping. I believed that the answer was to deliver bargains from favourite designer brands within a beautiful environment which provided an engaging and social experience.” And Roger’s belief proved to be correct as his designer brand village has maintained consistent growth within a challenged retail sector with the high street in decline and burgeoning online sales. Dramatic growth has been achieved over the last five years (30 per cent like-for-like in 2015/16), attracting over 55 designer brands to the site, a sales turnover growing to more than £11 million per annum and the court has created 120 jobs, which is set to become 350 once expansion has taken place. For more:

“I’VE SERVED SOME WONDERFUL PEOPLE INCLUDING CHER... I’VE EVEN BEEN INVITED TO THE PALACE ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS” Which diamond of a city jeweller can boast a glittering career? Turn to page 96 to find out.


The number of square feet Kilver Court will have after its planned expansion. See left for the full story I BATH LIFE I 95



NIGEL DANDO Nigel Dando talks about his 55 years’ experience at his eponymous Pulteney Bridge jewellers, which includes being invited to Buckingham Palace, serving Cher, and his belief that jewellery is to be worn for pleasure, and not for value Tell us a bit about your background… I was born in what was the Forbes Fraser Hospital at Bath’s RUH in 1943 during World War II. My father was Cecil Dando, a former Bath Rugby player, RAF airman and jeweller by trade. My mother Edna Dando worked at a bakery. She lived to be over 102 years old so all those cakes did her well. What were your school days like? It didn’t come without its dramas – I was at school at a time when the cane was still in full service. My favourite subjects were history and geography, and I loved sport – I was a keen boxer and trained at Percy Boys’ Club. I was also a chorister as a boy, singing at St Thomas a Beckett in Widcombe. What was your first job? After leaving school at 16, I was a lorry driver’s mate for six months, transporting newsprint from Bristol to London, when my father then suggested I join the family business, where I started a five-year apprenticeship. During this time I went to London’s Hatton Garden to trade, before returning to Bath to work. If you hadn’t become a jeweller, what might you have become? I did apply to join the police, but after passing all entrance and physical exams, it

was discovered I was colour blind, and I was therefore rejected. What achievements are you proud of? I believe that currently I’m the longeststanding retailer and sole trader in Bath, and in that time I’ve served some wonderful people including Cher and Reese Witherspoon. I’ve even been invited to Buckingham Palace on official business. I have, over the years, built up a tremendous contact book, which provides me access to very unique items for clients.

Pulteney Bridge business just as it is. I’ve had a fantastic 55 years in the trade to date, and if anything, I may do a few less hours. What are your proudest personal achievements? I think overcoming a triple heart bypass at a fairly young age would be up there and watching my family grow, which includes the privilege of having grandchildren. My one piece of advice to them has always been ‘be happy’ and it’s great to see them such. This makes me tremendously proud.

What is your own most treasured item of jewellery? A pair of vintage Cartier cufflinks. Their design is innovative and the quality is, as you’d expect, extremely high.

Where would you recommend visitors go to first in Bath? If they were looking for an insider’s secret, I’d point them towards the towpath alongside the weir, where the view is truly stunning.

If you had to recommend one piece of jewellery as an investment, what would it be? I believe jewellery should be bought and worn for the very pleasure of it – should the purchase turn out to be a valuable investment, then all the better.

Describe your ideal day... It would start with a lie in, then maybe Mrs. Dando would bring me breakfast in bed, along with a selection of papers and a fresh coffee. I’d then make my way to the gym or potter in the garden before taking the family for a lovely country lunch, with a few glasses of red, at The Wheatsheaf in Combe Hay.

Do you have any expansion plans for Nigel Dando Jewellery? My three sons all have careers outside of the industry and I’m very happy with my

For more:




BATH RUGBY NEWS Bringing you the latest from the Bath Rugby headquarters

Louise is never off-colour!

MATERIAL GIRL Louise Davies from Material Bath has been recognised as one of UK’s top professional hair colourists. She recently graduated from the hairdressing industry’s most prestigious colour course and earned the accolade Wella Master Colour Expert. The course, which is by invitation only, focuses on all aspects of hair colouring.

CHECK UP Richard Tidswell has bought up part of the firm he founded, Business Doctors, and is taking on a broader development. “I will also help drive recruitment to the firm, supporting the regional team and will act as a main point of contact with key stakeholders.”

DOT DOT DOT Novia Financial has announced Dot Rose will be joining the team to head up the newly created account management team. Dot, who has over 30 years of experience in customer services, beginning her career in financial services with Commercial Union, joins from AXA Life Invest where she was the UK sales support manager.

If you want your new equipment tested, there can be no more rigorous assessors than Bath Rugby players. Team mates Nathan Catt, Tom Dunn and Kane PalmaNewport visited YMCA Health & Wellbeing Centre on Broad Street on 18 January to try out the recently upgraded gym kit, which included new exercise bikes. “The YMCA is a huge supporter of Bath Rugby, and we were delighted some of the team were

able to come over and show their support for our work. “Our membership fee also goes to our charitable work with disadvantaged young people.” YMCA Bath Group is a not-forprofit social enterprise and along with the health and wellbeing centres, the work includes daycare nurseries, out of school clubs, and community centres. For more:

It took a brave soul to tell these three, Tom, Nathan and Kane, to get on their bikes

BUSINESS MATTERS DIARY From city centre conferences to networking breakfasts, make a note of the dates and make them work for you VARIOUS DATES

Bath Business Club offers the opportunity to meet up with likeminded individuals once a week. 7.30am, £10. 21 FEBRUARY

Netwalking in the Great Outdoors. Entrepreneurial business owners do their networking and catching up along the banks of the Avon Valley Canal. 11am-1pm, £5.90. 23 FEBRUARY

Bath Life Awards ceremony: A unique and joyous opportunity to celebrate the very best of Bath

at the Bath Assembly Rooms.



The Apartment Company & Milsted Langdon present a Meet The Experts seminar for landlords and property owners. 6pm, free. Francis Hotel. To book email 10 MARCH

A new ladies’ networking event has been launched in Chipping Sodbury, which meets the second Friday of every month at the Horseshoe pub. For more info contact

The Bath Business Expo 2017, one of the largest business exhibitions and networking opportunities in the region takes place in the Assembly Rooms. 10am - 3pm, free. 22 MARCH

Inspire with Why Not Inspires at Curo Group: Three speakers renowned for their enthusiasm, passion and drive for creating outstanding cultures with purpose, at Curo Group. 9am-5.30pm, for prices see




TERRIFIC TRIO Our pick of the most exciting, intriguing or important local business stories right now

GET HER DRIFT A love of sea, sand, sunshine, surfing, and a touch of snow, inspired Charlotte Howell-Jones’s new outdoor jewellery range, Drift. “I’m a huge fan of surfing, kite-surfing and sailing, as well as skiing and snow boarding,” explains Charlotte, who has also recently launched a Bath workshop, along with her North Devon base. “It’s always been a challenge to find jewellery that looks good enough for day wear but is also tough enough to wear in the sea and snow. “So I started making my own, using sailing rope and shackles, most of which is sourced locally and is serious element-withstanding stuff. “The response has been great,” Charlotte continues. “We will be expanding our product range, going into more retail outlets and appearing at some top festivals and shows. I’m particularly excited about the Goldcoast OceanFest and Southampton Boat Show.”

So far, it’s been plain sailing for Charlotte’s business idea

Mike Plows, Lucy Beattie, Julie Poll and Simon Brand

SOUP DU JOY The first Bath Soup Project, recently held at Bath College, raised £510 for a peer mentoring scheme run by the Southside Young Advocates, who liaise closely with local schools and talk to teachers about bullying. Guests paid £5 on the door and were served with a free bowl of soup and a chunk of bread made by the students from the Bath College Shrubbery Restaurant, before listening to a pitch from five community organisations and then voting on who should receive the money collected. Kai Fletcher, who works with the scheme, says, “Bath is a city with a large number of vulnerable young people needing support with complex issues. Southside Young Advocates feel passionately about spreading their message and providing a service in our local communities.” The next event is 6pm, 2 March at the Shrubbery Restaurant, Bath College. For more: | Twitter: @bathsoupproject

For more:


Lola recently popped up on Milsom Street

It came it, it popped, it conquered. Lola Swift’s recent pop-up shop on Milsom Street has reported its best year ever. Lola, a graduate of Chelsea College of Art, and a knitwear designer and colour specialist whose creations have graced the shelves of Paul Smith and Selfridges, explains, “We were meticulous about the sourcing of beautiful, high-end products from local artisans, and giving them a wonderful showcase, and this resulted in the shop having doubled its sales from last year.” Lola’s plans for this year include developing her online store, which offers an eclectic fusion of lifestyle and fashion accessories and “continuing the pop-up success somewhere else soon.” For more: I BATH LIFE I 99

f u n d r a i s i n g ad v ertising feat u re

Marching on together Give it a try and walk eight miles in the name of good causes to help raise funds for two local charities, Bath Rugby Foundation and Dorothy House Hospice Care


n 18 March two Bath charities are hoping a record number of men will take to the streets and walk ways of Bath in the fifth annual Bath Men's Walk, to show their support for Bath Rugby Foundation and Dorothy House Hospice Care. The eight-mile event takes approximately two hours to complete. It starts with registration at Dorothy House Hospice Care in Winsley at 11am and finishes at the Rec, the home of Bath Rugby – with a short detour at The George for refreshments! Once at The Rec, walkers are treated to a screening of the day’s Six Nations action, a pie and a pint. This year walkers will be treated to both the France v Wales match at 2.45pm and the big one, England v Ireland at 5pm. Last year, thanks to the efforts of all who took part, the charities raised over £45,000 between them to help their work in the local community. Participants pay £25 for their entry and pledge to raise a further £50 for the charities. Bath Rugby Foundation general manager, Mandy Gardner says, “Bath Men’s Walk is one of the highlights of the Foundation’s fundraising calendar. Seeing men of all ages, fathers and sons, friends and family, putting

“We hope to see even more men taking part in this year’s event”

All participants can enjoy a pie and a pint at the end of the walk


It's best foot forward for these fundraisers

on their walking boots in aid of two brilliant local charities is always inspiring. Not to mention a great day out! We hope to see even more men taking part in this year’s event.” Emily Knight, event fundraiser for Dorothy House Hospice Care says, “Last year's Bath Men's Walk was a great success with over 560 men and boys taking part, feedback from walkers is that the event has become a real fixture among Bath rugby-goers. It's also an important fundraiser for both charities and the vital funds raised for Dorothy House will enable us to provide patients and their families with the specialist palliative and end of life care they need when it matters most.” Simon Holdsworth, managing partner of main event sponsors Thrings and a member of the firm’s walking team, adds, “Every year the walk generates huge amounts of interest and excitement among staff at Thrings, and the firm is very pleased to be extending its partnership with the event for a fifth successive year. And while raising muchneeded funds for two fantastic organisations is motivation enough, the prospect of a pie and a pint while watching the culmination of the Six Nations championship at the Rec might just offer walkers that little bit of added incentive.” To sign up for the event please visit

For more information on Bath Rugby Foundation visit

For more information on Dorothy House Hospice Care visit

Call Monahans Financial Services now on 01225 472800 Lennox House, 3 Pierrepont Street, Bath BA1 1LB

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Within close reach of Bath’s city centre but surrounded by pastures, paddocks and countryside views, Freshford Hall offers a slower pace of life… By E V E LY N GR E E N I BATH LIFE LIFE II 103 I CLIFTON 113




f you need me, I’ll be in the west wing, darling,” is a phrase that I’d love to be able to utter in the comfort of my own home. And the new owners of Freshford Hall, who ever they turn out to be, can, if the mood strikes them. You see, the stunning Grade–II listed house, situated on the edge of the charming village of Freshford, is thought to have originally been built in around about 1790, with an additional two wings created around 1885. The Georgian gem is constructed of traditional Bath stone, is classically symmetrical and is decorated with fine Corinthian pillars and balustrades. Step inside and the accommodation is as beautiful as the façade; it’s neatly spread across no less than four floors and has retained all its elegant Georgian character and charm. Whilst the house is perfect for a family, the living space is such that it’s also suitable for just a couple who enjoy a bit of space. The principal rooms on the ground floor, the drawing room and dining room, are of particular note, both having floor-to-ceiling windows which allow for an exquisite view and provide a wealth of natural light. A conservatory leads directly from the drawing room and brings the garden into the house – a perfect place for a spot of Sunday lunch whatever the weather. The bespoke kitchen is ideal for bustling family life and is well placed next to the dining room, creating a sense of flow. On the lowest floor, the ‘garden floor’ as it’s named, the rooms enjoy a wealth of natural light along with vistas of the garden. The secondary kitchen on this floor is convenient for additional storage; the study is a great place to work while, again, overlooking something spectacular; the playroom provides a spacious sanctuary for children; and next to it is one of the smaller, although 104 I BATH LIFE I

Clockwise, from top left: Just one of the generous reception rooms; the panoramic countryside views stretch for miles; one of two wellappointed kitchens; the newly renovated swimming pool



square foot of space






three-bedroom cottage

£3.95m price


acres of land, approx

still en suite, bedrooms of the house. The other bedrooms are spread across two floors with the master bedroom on the first, complete with an en suite bathroom and dressing room, along with two further bedrooms; and at the top of the house you’ll find the final three. Perhaps one of the most special aspect of the bedrooms is that each has a commanding and elevated view of the picturesque surrounding countryside and that garden we’ve mentioned a good few times (side note: the balcony is the place to go if you want to see the grounds at their best). It’s worth mentioning said garden a million times more because it’s not just any old patch of grass, it’s an estimated 12-acre plot, in which you’ll find paddocks, a newly renovated swimming pool and a tennis court. The garden is mainly laid to lawn and it’s interspersed with mature trees including two wonderful copper beech trees. There is a field below the garden which is laid to permanent pasture, it has also been stock fenced – ideal for livestock should that be an interest – and across the village lane is a further paddock, which again could be used for livestock if the new owner so wished. Remember the two additional wings of the house I mentioned? Well there’s more. Freshford Hall also comes with its own separate three-bedroom cottage which provides immaculate accommodation over two floors, ideal for maybe a housekeeper, for guests, or, alternatively, to rent out. With all of its internal space, its fairytale setting, plus its brilliant location in an active village, just six miles south of Bath, it doesn’t get more covetable than that.

Bradford-On-Avon, £695,000

A handsome individual home with fabulous accommodation set high above the town in a sought after location. The entrance hall and galleried stair cases lead to generously proportioned rooms many of which are dual aspect and the upper floors which have far reaching views. The ground floor has a large suite of receptions comprising sitting room with adjoining dining room and conservatory leading onto the gardens. The first floor has a large sitting room which takes full advantage of the views and light. We find two further bedrooms here including the master with ensuite. On the top floor, we find two more double bedrooms. The gardens are level and mostly lawned linking well to the house via the conservatory. There is driveway parking and a double garage in a block immediately to the rear of the house.


Bradford-On-Avon, Guide Price £265,000


A very pretty, Grade II listed, four storey character cottage full of character in a superb central location a short walk away from the train station and local amenities. Inside we find a cosy sitting room full of character with a feature stone fireplace, exposed stone walls, sash windows and a spiral staircase to the upper floors. Upstairs are two double bedrooms. The top floor bedroom has lovely views with the church spire in the background. There is the bonus of two modern bathrooms, one on each floor next to the bedrooms, one shower room and one bathroom with bath & shower over – perfect! The kitchen is on the third floor, has three sash windows so is light & airy and unusually has a rear entrance – perfect for bringing the shopping in from the lane at the rear. An ideal investment property, first time purchase or holiday let.

Tel: 01225 866747 27 Market Street, Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire, BA15 1LL email: • website:

Woodford, Berkeley, South Gloucs Prices from ÂŁ525,000 JUST RELEASED. 1st two of 4 brand new contemporary styled detached barn type homes in this exclusive development of only 6 elegant professional homes within 5 miles of Thornbury. 4 beds (with en-suites to master & guest rms). Spacious dual aspect living rm, dining rm, stunning fitted k/breakfast rm and separate utility. Vaulted ceilings to FF. Bold, confident yet reassuringly traditional. Now under construction build completion expected Spring 2017.

T: 01225 471116

T: 01225 325857

l re as m tf ai ou n r in g

These 3 bedroom penthouses benefit from secure private parking and have been restored to the highest specification. Book your viewing today with dedicated parking available.

3 bedroom penthouse apartments available from ÂŁ599,950

01179 102351

Would you like to work in Media Sales? We are always looking to hear from talented individuals who would like to work for MediaClash, presenting advertising opportunities and marketing solutions across our portfolio of fantastic local titles. We are a growing business and anticipate there being various opportunities over the next few months. If you would like to join our continuing success story please email your CV to or give us a call anytime on 01225 475800 for a chat about the company, our magazines and available positions.

ATTENTION LANDLORDS! We are always happy to welcome new Landlords and tenants alike to our portfolio. We recognise that the personal touch and attention is required for a successful partnership between Landlord and Agent. So, conďŹ dent of the continued buoyancy of the Bath Rental Market, our Spring Offer for 2017 is 50% discount on fees for six months. Allow us to tailor a package to suit your personal needs and take the pressure out of letting your property.

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p r o p e r t y a d vertising feature

Living the luxe high life: representative interior

Iconic building coming soon to Bath

A new and stunning building that is set to transform Bath’s city skyline, and includes a unique collection of luxurious, high-end apartments, is about to be launched


oyal View is a stunning demonstration on the shape of things to come in terms of living in the heart of the city and is the exciting new phase at Bath Riverside. Located next to the historic Victoria Bridge, it will comprise 45 apartments including eight one-bedroom, 34 two-bedroom and three stunning penthouse apartments. Incorporating a series of soft curves, the eight-storey building blends effortlessly with its landscape and waterside setting. Those keen to be ahead of the curve by purchasing one of the select new properties and live on the banks of the River Avon, can now register their interest with the Bath Riverside sales team before the phase launches in March. Built predominantly from Bath Stone, Royal View fits well within the local surroundings. Thoughtfully considered features capture the distinctive character of the city’s Georgian past, safeguarding its place within the historic Bath landscape. Providing spectacular views out across the city, residents will be able to take in and enjoy renowned settings such as the Royal Crescent and Royal Victoria Park. 110 I BATH LIFE I

A number of special design features, both inside and out, are also set to impress, adding to the unique nature of what is going to be a stunning addition to the development and city. Marcus Evans, sales and marketing executive at Crest Nicholson, says,“Inspired by some of the city’s most famous landmarks Royal View heralds an exciting chapter in the Bath Riverside story. “Each property has been beautifully designed with high specification interiors and energy efficient features. I don’t want to give too much away, but there are some uniquely special features that are sure to delight.” “The curved nature of the design is a real talking point and is unlike anything that has ever been seen in the Bath skyline before. Close to Victoria Bridge means it acts almost like a gate house on the crossing point of the river. “Another key aspect of the phase is its location. It’s right next to the river and being next to Victoria Bridge allows residents to access the Upper Bristol Road and walk into the centre of Bath in about 10 minutes. “Royal View is a stunning new addition to both Bath Riverside and the city of Bath. With the building work progressing well it has already created a lot of interest from passers-by and

potential buyers. “Those who want to be part of this iconic and unique new building should get in touch now so that when we launch they will not miss out on what is a significant addition to the Bath city scene.”

To register interest for Royal View please contact the sales and marketing team on 01225 463517 or visit The marketing suite on Victoria Bridge Road is open daily from 10am to 5pm



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For your nearest tester please contact Cindy on 07747 800097 or Email: / For local appointments please contact: Clarion Health, 2-4 Henry Street, Bath Tel: 01225 448348




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aving spent years travelling the world learning about the best education systems in different cultures, Lucy released her non-fiction book, Cleverlands: The secrets behind the success of the world’s education superpowers, in December. Since its publication, the education consultant, who lives in Walcot, has been featured on BBC news and her work has been named one of The Economist’s ‘books of the year’. Here she tells us why she believes many of the world’s problems could be solved, or at least reduced, with the right education… I had an unusual education; I went to a tiny private school that was based on ancient Indian philosophy… We meditated every day, studied ancient texts, and only performed music and plays that were more that 100 years old. Although it was niche, I’m very grateful for the education that I received, I was exposed to a lot of beautiful words, thoughts and music. Something that many people don’t know is that I took GCSE Sanskrit. I now advise local and national governments on teacher workloads… I’m an international education consultant at the Education Development Trust and I help governments design and implement educational programmes. So, for example, I might design the application process for a teacher training programme, or advise on how a country can change the style of their national student assessments to move them on from being a test of memory. My education superpowers would be… Getting children ready for formal education using a mastery-based curriculum (depth over breadth); providing support to reach high expectations for all children; treating teachers like professionals; and combining school accountability with support rather than sanctions. That is what my new book, Cleverlands: the secrets behind the success of the world’s education superpowers, is all about… As a teacher I became fed up with the constant changes to the English education system that were driven by politics, rather than what research suggests is effective. Expanding grammar schools was not on the table back then, but this new policy shows that this is still the approach being taken today. I was interested in what they



The Bath-based international education consultant and author talks about her ancient Indian upbringing, being an adviser to national governments and singing solo at New York’s Carnegie Hall were doing in other countries that did particularly well in international tests. Was it all about culture, or could we learn something from them too? After university, I didn’t yet have a job lined up, nor did I have a mortgage, or a family, or anything else to keep me in the UK... So I went to discover what other countries were doing. I made a video explaining who I was, and sent it to teachers in Finland, Canada, Japan, Singapore and Shanghai, volunteering to come and teach or help out in their schools. I spent four weeks in schools in each country – teaching, observing and trying to understand what made each place so successful through conversations with everyone involved. Cleverlands is about my journey, and about the lessons I learned. Maybe my next book will focus on education in more remote places (e.g. in the Amazon and in Inuit communities)… I have no immediate plans to write anything new, though this will be great fun to research. I would definitely need an advance for that one, though. My biggest achievement professionally was publishing my book and talking about it live on BBC news… I’ve also been interviewed about it on The Today Programme, and numerous local radio stations, and the book has been reviewed in The Economist and Prospect Magazine, and even made it into The Economist’s ‘books of the year’.

I live with my fiancé in Walcot, near Hedgemead Park, on a hill… You can often smell burning clutch due to the effect of the gradient on the cars outside. I’ve lived in Bath for over a year; I love that it’s compact enough that I can walk everywhere, and that the architecture is such that it’s beautiful even when it’s raining. I have so many favourite places in the city… I love to shop at The Woodworks Project – they sell second hand furniture that has been renovated by people with mental or physical difficulties, so you get a bargain on beautiful furniture while supporting a good cause. I like to have a drink at The Hare & Hounds; and I enjoy eating at Aqua Italia. But my favourite spot of all is on the towpath alongside the canal. My most treasured possession has to be our woodburner… The prospect of sitting in front of it with a cuppa gives me the motivation to get out of bed in the winter when I have early morning calls. When I’m not working I sing acapella... I sang solo in front of hundreds of people at the Carnegie Hall in New York when my acapella group won the Western European final of a singing competition.

Cleverlands, published by Unbound, is out now. For more information, visit

your local Villeroy & Boch stockists 5 The Shambles, Bradford on Avon BA15 1JS | 01225 309110

Bath Life – issue 332  
Bath Life – issue 332